Colleen Scott

Colleen Scott


  • Faculty


  • Materials/Polymer
  • Organic

Research Summary

Synthesis and characterization of organic materials


  • Associate Professor



  • Hand Lab 3330

B.S. Auburn University, 1998
Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, 2005

Organic Polymeric Materials – Thermoplastics & Conducting Plastics, Chemical & Biological Sensors

Polymers have a range of application that exceeds any other material type; applications include everything from adhesives, coatings, and industrial fabrics to structural components in the construction, biomedical, and aerospace industry.Research interest in the Scott group is focused on the design, synthesis, and characterization of advanced organic materials utilizing the tools of organic chemistry to create macromolecules with interesting properties and functions.

A major goal of ours is to develop new materials from an “intelligent design” approach by designing materials with specific properties based on organic groups.  For example, we can tune conducting polymers to behave as n-type materials or emissive materials for OFETs and OLEDS or donor-acceptor low band gap materials for photovoltaic applications by changing functional groups and/or co-monomers. We can also implement side groups on polymers that will allow them to behave as a molecular switch for sensing applications. We also synthesize polymers for batteries and capacitors application.

Sustainability is a major focus in science, especially for the preparation of materials. Our group explores synthetic methods to prepare polymers from raw materials that are cheap and/or renewable for the purpose of manufacturing high performance materials. We are currently exploring organic precursors that can be obtained from lignin-based source to produce new biodegradable thermoplastics. We are also investigating a new design in developing new high temperature resistant materials.

Another area of interest in the Scott group is in the preparation of organic thin films formed by chemical transformations of macromolecules on the surface of various substrates. Our interest is to elucidate the molecular origins of the self-assembly processes in order to control the supramolecular organization of organic molecules and macromolecules. Chemists and materials scientists are particularly interested in developing new methodologies that allow for the "controlled" synthesis of large supramolecular assemblies with well-defined structures. Such assemblies are ubiquitous in nature (e.g. cell membranes, liquid crystals, proteins, etc.) and typically form spontaneously under the influence of forces that are poorly understood.

Organic Small Molecules – Chemical & Biological Sensors from sustainable synthesis of organosilicon compounds.

We have developed silicon-containing small molecules, which can be modified for the detection of selective analytes, or converted to a polymeric materials for application in biological imaging and chemo- and biosensing. We have been investigating the preparation of these materials using the C-H activation reaction as a sustainable method of conducting organic synthesis.

Work in the Scott lab is highly interdisciplinary; consequently students and postdocs are exposed to wide variety of equipment and characterization techniques for organic synthesis, thin films, polymers, and biomaterials.

Selected Publications

  1. Mohammed Almtiri, Timothy J. Dowell, Iwei Chu, David O. Wipf, and Colleen N. Scott,* “Phenoxazine-containing polyaniline derivatives with improved electrochemical stability and processability”, ACS Applied Polymer Materials 2021, 3 (6), 2988-2997.
  2. Daijun Feng, Satish Mishra, Nuwayo E. Munyaneza, Santanu Kundu, Colleen N. Scott,* “Facile transformation of poly(phenyl ether) by C-H borylation: A viable method to new aromatic materials”, European Polymer Journal, 2021, 158, 110687,
  3. Ishanka Rajapaksha, Hao Chang, Yao Xiong, Seth Marder, Steven R. Gwaltney, and Colleen N. Scott,* “New Design Strategy toward NIR I Xanthene-Based Dyes”. J. Org. Chem. 2020, 85, 19, 12108–12116.
  4. Eric Munyaneza, Bruno Donnadieu and Colleen N Scott* “Synthesis and characterization of thermally stable bio-based poly(ester amide)s from sustainable feedstock”, Eur Polym J., 2019, 120, 109228.
  5. Chathuranga S. L. Rathnamalala, Jacqueline N. Gayton, Austin L. Dorris, William Meador, Nathan Hammer,* Jared H. Delcamp,* and Colleen N. Scott.* “Donor-Acceptor-Donor NIR II Emissive Rhodindolizine Dye Synthesized by C-H Bond Functionalization”, J. Org. Chem. 2019, 84, 20, 13186-13193.
  6. Daijun Feng, George Barton and Colleen Scott* “Synthesis of 2,5-dibutyl-3,6-dimethyl- 1H,2H,4H,5H-pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-dione: A diketopyrrolopyrrole scaffold for the formation of alkenyl-diketopyrrolopyrrole compounds”, Compounds. Organic Letters 2019, 21 (7), 1973-1978.
  7. Colleen Nicola Scott* and Milind Bisen, “Synthesis of reactively functionalized 2,5-siloles using Kumada type nickel-mediated intramolecular cyclization and their utilization in polymer synthesis”, Polymer 2019, 170, 204-210.
  8. Guery Saenz and Colleen N Scott “Sustainable Poly(ether amide)s from Lignin-Derived Precursors”, Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry, Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 2018, 56, 2154–2160.
  9. Dr. Qinqin Shi, Wesley Tatum, Dr. Junxiang Zhang, Dr. Colleen Scott, Dr. Christine K. Luscombe, Dr. Seth R. Marder, Dr. Simon B. Blakey, “The Direct Arylation Polymerization (DArP) of Well‐Defined Alternating Copolymers Based On 5,6-Dicyano[2,1,3]benzothiadiazole (DCBT)”, Asian J. Org. Chem. 2018, 7, 1419.
  10. Colleen Scott,* Milind Bisen, Dominik Stemer Samuel McKinnon and Christine Luscombe “Direct arylation polycondensation of 2,5-dithienylsilole with a series of difluorobenzodiimine- based electron acceptors” Macromolecules, 2017, 50, 4623–4628.