Michael J. Serpe

Associate Professor
BSc, University of Central Florida
PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology

W4-19, Chemistry Centre

Group website:


Research Interests

The Serpe Group primarily works with polymer-based materials to solve problems associated with health and the environment. To make progress in these areas, we conduct research that will better our understanding of the fundamental properties of our polymer-based materials, and polymeric materials in general.

The different projects in the group allow the researcher to develop and characterize polymeric materials, use them for a variety of applications, and design/build novel analytical tools for further characterization. Researchers in the lab will be exposed to a comprehensive suite of polymer, surface, and colloid characterization techniques such as (but not limited to): gel permeation chromatography, dynamic and static light scattering, quartz crystal microbalance, ellipsometry, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, contact angle measurements, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, optical and fluorescence microscopy, atomic force microscopy for imaging and force spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible light reflectance spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared reflectance spectroscopy, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. All characterization tools are readily available to the researcher directly in the lab or on campus. 

Each project offers postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and undergraduate students alike plenty of room to make individual contributions leading to new research directions. The projects are also multidisciplinary, requiring collaborations within the department as well as in various departments across campus. These collaborations will give the researcher a variety of perspectives and expose them to other areas of science leading to a well-rounded knowledge and appreciation of a variety of disciplines. 

Please see the group webpage for more information on the individual projects. Also, please feel free to contact me for more information on any of the projects or to inquire about positions available in the lab.

Selected Publications

Li, X.; Serpe, M.J. " Understanding and Controlling the Self-Folding Behavior of Polymer-    Based Muscles " Adv. Funct. Mater., 2014,  DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201400201.    

Islam, M.R.; Li, X.; Smyth, K.; Serpe, M.J. "Polymer-Based Muscle Expansion and    Contraction" Angew. Chem. Int. Edit., 2013, 52(39), 10330-10333. (Front Cover)   

Zhang, Q.M.; Xu, W.; Serpe, M.J. "Optical Devices Constructed from Multiresponsive Microgels" Angew. Chem., 2014, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201402641. 

Islam, M.R.; Serpe, M.J. " Penetration of Polyelectrolytes into Charged Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) Microgel Layers Confined Between Two Surfaces" Macromolecules, 2013, 46 (4), 1599–1606.

Johnson, K.C.C.; Mendez, F.; Serpe, M.J.* “Detecting Solution pH Changes Using Poly (N-Isopropylacrylamide)-co-Acrylic Acid Microgel-Based Etalon Modified Quartz Crystal Microbalances" Anal. Chim. Acta. 2012, 739, 83-88.

Hu, L.; Serpe, M.J.* “Poly (N-Isopropylacrylamide) Microgel-Based Etalons for Optical Sensing” J. Anal. Bioanal. Techniques. 2012, DOI: 10.4172/2155- 9872.1000132.  

Parasuraman, D.; Sarker, A.K.; Serpe, M.J.* “Poly (N-Isopropylacrylamide)-Based Microgels and Their Assemblies for Organic Molecule Removal from Water” ChemPhysChem 2012, 13(10), 2507–2515. 

Hu, L.; Serpe, M.J.* “Color Modulation of Spatially Isolated Regions on a Single Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) Microgel Based Etalon” J. Mater.Chem. 2012, 22, 8199-8202.

Parasuraman, D.; Leung, E.; Serpe, M.J.* “Poly (N-Isopropylacrylamide) Microgel Based Assemblies for Organic Dye Removal from Water: Microgel Diameter Effects” Colloid. Polym. Sci. 2012, 290 (11), 1053-1064.

Hu, L.; Serpe, M.J.* “Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) Microgel Based Color Tunable Etalons for Light Filtration and Sensing” Polymers, 2012, 4(1), 134-149. 

Sorrell, C.D.; Serpe, M.J.* “Glucose Sensitive Poly (N-Isopropylacrylamide) Microgel Based Etalons” Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2012, 402, 2385-2393.

Parasuraman, D.; Serpe, M.J.* “Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) Microgel Based Assemblies for Organic Dye Removal from Water” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces., 2011, 3 (12), 4714–4721.

Carter, M.C.D.; Sorrell, C.D.; Serpe, M.J.* “Deswelling Kinetics of Color Tunable Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) Microgel-Based Etalons” J. Phys. Chem. B. 2011, 115 (49), 14359-14368.

Sorrell, C.D.; Serpe, M.J.* “Reflection order selectivity of color-tunable poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) microgel based etalons“ Adv. Mater., 2011, 23 (35), 4088-4092.

Parasuraman, D.; Serpe, M.J.* “Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) Microgels for Organic Dye Removal from Water” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2011, 3 (7), 2732–2737.

Sorrell, C.D.; Carter, M.C.D.; Serpe, M.J.* “A “Paint-On” Protocol for the Facile Assembly of Uniform Microgel Coatings for Color Tunable Etalon Fabrication” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2011, 3, 1140-1147.

Zavgorodnya, O.; Serpe, M.J.* “Assembly of Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide)-co-Acrylic Acid Microgel Thin Films on Polyelectrolyte Multilayers: Effects of Polyelectrolyte Layer Thickness, Surface Charge and Microgel Solution pH” Colloid Polym. Sci., 2011, 289, 591-602.

Sorrell, C.D.; Carter, M.C.D.; Serpe, M.J.* "Color Tunable Poly (N-Isopropylacrylamide)-co-Acrylic Acid Microgel/Au Hybrid Assemblies" Adv. Funct. Mater., 2011, 21, 425-433.