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Kyle N. Plunkett, Ph. D

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Kyle N. Plunkett, Ph.D.
Southern Illinois University

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry 618-453-2758

1245 Lincoln Dr.

Carbondale, IL 62901


Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL Aug. 2015-Present

Associate Professor

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL Sept. 2010-Aug. 2015

Assistant Professor

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL Oct. 2005

Ph.D. Chemistry, Advisor: Jeffrey S. Moore

Thesis Title: “Hydrogels for Biomacromolecule Immobilization and Sensing”
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX May 2000

B.S. Chemistry, Advisor: David Bergbreiter

Research Experience

Columbia University, New York, NY 2006 - 2010

Postdoctoral Associate, Advisor: Colin Nuckolls

Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany 2005 - 2006

Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow, Advisor: Klaus Müllen

Teaching Experience

Professor, Southern Illinois University 2010-Present

Chem 340 – Organic Chemistry I

Chem 541 – Organic Structure and Reactivity

Chem 341 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory I

Chem 443 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
Head Teaching Assistant, University of Illinois 2000 - 2002

Advanced Organic Chemistry Laboratory

Teaching Assistant, University of Illinois 2000

Organic Chemistry II and Recitation

Teaching Assistant, Texas A&M University 1999

General Chemistry Laboratory and Recitation

Publications *=corresponding author

30)Yuan, B., Zhuang, J., Kirmess, K.M., Bridgmohan, C.N., Whalley, A.C., Wang, L., Plunkett, K.N., "Diacenaphthylpentalenes: Fully Unsaturated and Stable Tetraquinanes", submitted.

29) Zhu, X., Shao, B., Vanden Bout, D.A., Plunkett, K.N., "Directing the Conformation of Oligo(Phenylene Vinylene) Polychromophores with Rigid, Non-Conjugatable Morphons", Macromolecules, DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.6b00067

28)Bheemireddy, S. R., Ubaldo, P.C., Finke, A.D., Wang, L., Plunkett, K.N., "Contorted Aromatics via a Palladium-Catalyzed Cyclopentannulation Strategy", J. Mater. Chem. C., 2016, 4, 3963-3969. 2016 Emerging Investigators Themed Issue: Novel design strategies for new functional materials.
27)Bheemireddy, S.R., Plunkett, K.N., "Dicyclopenta[cd,jk]pyrene Based Acceptors in Conjugated Polymers", Polym. Chem. 2016, 7, 292-296.
26)Zhu, X., Bheemireddy, S.R., Sambasivarao, S.V., Rose, P.W., Guzman, R.T., Waltner, A.G., DuBay, K.H., Plunkett, K.N., "Construction of Donor-Acceptor Polymers via Cyclopentannulation of Poly(arylene ethynylene)s", Macromolecules, 2016, 49, 127-133.
25)Bheemireddy, S.R., Ubaldo, P.C., Rose, P.W., Finke, A.D., Zhuang, J., Wang, L., Plunkett, K.N., "Stabilizing Pentacene via Cyclopentannulation", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2015, 54, 15762-15766.
24)Zhu, X., Yuan, B., Plunkett, K.N., "Tunable Electron Acceptors Based on Cyclopenta[hi]aceanthrylenes", Tetrahedron Lett. 2015, 56, 7105-7107
23)Truong, M.L., Shi F., He, P., Yuan, B., Plunkett, K.N., Coffey, A.M., Shchepin, R.V., Barskiy, D.A., Kovtunov, K.V., Koptyug, I.V., Waddell, K.W., Goodson, B.M., Chekmenev, E.Y., “Irreversible Catalyst Activation Enables Hyperpolarization and Water Solubility for NMR Signal Amplification by Reversible Exchange”, J. Phys. Chem. B., 2014, 118, 13882-13889.
22)Zhu, X., Plunkett, K.N.*, “Controlled Regioregularity in Oligo(2-methoxy-5-(2’-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylenes”, J. Org. Chem, 2014, 79, 7093-7102.
21)Howe, S.E., Lickteig, D.J., Plunkett, K.N., Ryerse, J.S., Konjufca, V.H., "The uptake of soluble and particulate antigens by epithelial cells in the mouse small intestine", PLOS ONE, 2014, 9, e86656.
20)Traub, M.C., DuBay, K.H., Ingle, S.E., Zhu, X., Plunkett, K.N., Reichman, D.R., Vanden Bout, D.A., "Chromophore Controlled Self-Assembly of Highly-Ordered Polymer Nanostructures", J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2013, 4, 2520-2524.
19)Plunkett, K.N.* "What About the Five-Membered Ring? Cyclopenta-fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons as a Building Block for Functional Materials", Syn. Lett. (Invited SYNPACTS article), 2013, 24, 898-902.
18)Lee, C.-H., Plunkett, K.N.*, “Orthogonal Functionalization of Cyclopenta[hi]aceanthrylenes”, Org. Lett., 2013, 15, 1202-1205.
17)Jellison, J.L., Lee, C.-H., Zhu, X., Wood, J.D., Plunkett, K.N.*, "Electron Acceptors Based on an All-Carbon Donor-Acceptor Copolymer", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2012, 51, 12321-12324.
16)Wood, J.D., Jellison, J.L., Finke, A.D., Wang, L., Plunkett, K.N.*, "Electron Acceptors Based on Functionalizable Cyclopenta[hi]aceanthrylenes and Dicyclopenta[de,mn]tetracenes, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134, 15783-15789.
15)Zhu, X., Traub, M.C., Vanden Bout, D.A., Plunkett, K.N.*, "Well-Defined Alternating Copolymers of Oligo(phenylenevinylene)s and Flexible Chains", Macromolecules, 2012, 45, 5051-5057.
Prior to SIU
14)Schiros, T., Kladnik, G., Prezzi, D., Ferretti, A., Olivieri, G., Cossaro, A., Floreano, L., Verdini, A., Schenck, C., Cox, M., Plunkett, K.N., Delongchamp, D., Nuckolls, C., Morgante, A., Cvetko, D., Kymissis, I., “Donor-acceptor Shape Matching Drives Performance in Photovoltaics”, Adv. Energy Mater., 2013, 3, 894-902.
13)Traub, M.C., Vogelsang, J., Plunkett, K.N., Nuckolls, C., Barbara, P.F., Vanden Bout, D.A., "Unmasking Bulk Exciton Traps and Interchain Electronic Interactions with Single Conjugated Polymer Aggregates", ACS Nano, 2012, 6, 523-529.
12)Bounos, G., Ghosh, S., Lee, A.K., Plunkett, K.N., DuBay, K.H., Bolinger, J.C., Zhang, R., Friesner, R.A., Nuckolls, C., Reichman, D.R., Barbara, P.F., “Controlling Chain Conformation in Conjugated Polymers Using Defect Inclusion Strategies”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 10155-10160.
11)Whalley, A.C., Plunkett, K.N., Gorodetsky, A.A., Schenk, C.L., Chiu, C.-Y., Steigerwald, M.L., Nuckolls, C., “Bending Contorted Hexabenzocoronene into a Bowl”, Chem. Sci., 2011, 2, 132-135.

10)Plunkett, K.N., Godula, K., Nuckolls, C., Tremblay, N., Whalley, A.C., Xiao, S., “Expeditious Synthesis of Contorted Hexabenzocoronenes”, Org. Lett. 2009, 11, 2225-2228.

9)Plunkett, K.N., Zhu, X., Moore, J.S., Leckband, D.E., “PNIPAM Chain Collapse Depends on the Molecular Weight and Grafting Density”, Langmuir 2006, 22, 4259-4266.

8)Weissman, H., Plunkett, K.N., Moore, J.S., “A Highly-Active, Heterogeneous Catalyst for Alkyne Metathesis”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 585-588.
7)Plunkett, K.N., “Hydrogels for Biomacromolecule Immobilization and Sensing”, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign, IL, 2005.
6)Plunkett, K.N., Mohraz, A., Haasch, R.T., Lewis, J.A., Moore, J.S., “Light-Regulated Electrostatic Interactions in Colloidal Suspensions”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 14574-14575.
5)Plunkett, K.N., Berkowski, K.L., Moore, J.S., “A Chymotrypsin Responsive Hydrogel – Application of a Chemoselective Conjugation Protocol for the Preparation of Methacrylamide Containing Peptides”, Biomacromolecules 2005, 6, 632-637.
4)Berkowski, K.L, Plunkett, K.N., Yu, Q., Moore, J.S., “Introduction to Photolithography – Preparation of Microscale Polymer Silhouettes”, J. Chem. Ed. 2005, 82, 1365-1369.
3)Plunkett, K.N., Moore, J.S., “Patterned Dual pH-Responsive Core-Shell Hydrogels with Controllable Swelling Kinetics and Volumes”, Langmuir 2004, 20, 6535-6537.
2)Plunkett, K.N., Chatterjee, A. N., Aluru, N. R., Moore, J. S. “Surface-Modified Hydrogels for Chemoselective Bioconjugation”, Macromolecules 2003, 36, 8846-8852.
1)Plunkett, K.N., Kraft, M. L., Yu, Q., Moore, J. S. “Swelling Kinetics of Disulfide Cross-Linked Microgels”, Macromolecules 2003, 36, 3960-3966.


Weissman, H., Plunkett, K.N., Cho, H.-M., Moore, J.S. “Alkyne Metathesis using Molybdenum Carbyne Complexes on Metal Oxide Supports”, 2006, WO/2006/135631.

Invited Departmental Seminars

University of Houston, Apr 2016

University of Texas at Dallas, Apr 2016

Purdue University, Feb 2016

Miami University, Nov 2015

University of Kentucky, May 2015

University of Oregon, Apr 2015

University of Texas at Austin, Mar 2015

Texas A&M University, Mar 2015

Southeast Missouri State University, Oct 2014

Shanghai Jiao Tong University, May 2014

Peking University, May 2014

University of Missouri-Columbia, Mar 2014

St. Louis University, Dec 2013

University of Louisville, Oct 2013

Upcoming Departmental Presentations

University of Vermont, Sept 2016

Invited Conference Presentations

“TBD”, 2nd International Symposium on the Synthesis and Application of Curved Organic pi-Molecules and Materials (CURO-pi), Eugene, OR Sept. 2016.
“Low Band Gap Materials From Cyclopenta-Fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”, Materials Research Symposium, Fundamentals of Organic Semiconductors: Synthesis, Morphology, Devices, and Theory” Boston, MA Dec 2014
“Low Band Gap Materials From Cyclopenta-Fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”, Fusion Conference – From Carbon-Rich Molecules to Carbon-Based Materials, El Jadida, Morocco, Sept 2014
“Synthesis and Characterization of Cyclopent-fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon-Based Electron Accepting Materials”, International Symposium on Advances in Computational Materials for Catalysis and Photovoltaics, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China May 2014
“Conjugated Polymer Copolymerized with Flexible Chains: A Platform to Create Highly Ordered Polymer Nanostructures”, ACS 2013, Indianapolis Sept 2013.
”Organic Polymers - A Necessity for Today’s Technology”, Think Science, Saluki Research Ambassadors, Carbondale, IL Mar 2013.
“Low Band Gap Polymers Based on Cyclopenta-fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”, ACS 2012, Philadelphia, PA Aug 2012.

Contributed Presentations

“Contorted Aromatics and Polymers from Cyclopenta-fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”, Pacifichem 2015, Honolulu, HI, Dec 2015
“Engineering Polymer Self-Assembly by Sidechain Modification in Phenylene Vinylene Polychromophores”, Pacifichem 2015, Honolulu, HI, Dec 2015
“Contorted Aromatics from Cyclopentafused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”, Fpi-12, Seattle, WA, July 2015.
“Contorted Aromatics and Polymers from Cyclopentafused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”, ISNA-16, Madrid, Spain July 2015. (Poster)
“Engineering Polymer Self-Assembly via Sidechain Modification in Phenylene Vinylenes”, ACS 2014, San Francisco Aug 2014.
“Functionalization Strategies of a Few Cyclopenta-fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”, ACS 2014, Dallas, TX Mar 2014.
“Functionalization Strategies of a Few Cyclopenta-fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”, Physical Organic Gordon Research Conference, Holderness, NH Jun 2013. (Poster)
“Tunable Electron Acceptors based on Cyclopenta-fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”, ACS, 2012, Philadelphia, PA Aug 2012.

“Low Band Gap Polymers Based on Cyclopenta-fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”, ICSM 2012, Atlanta, GA July 2012.

“Low Band Gap Polymers Based on Cyclopenta-fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”, IUPAC MACRO 2012, Blacksburg, VA June 2012.
“Acetetrylenes: Nonalternant Cyclopentafused Aromatic Hydrocarbons”, ISNA-14, Eugene, OR July 2011.
“Preparation and Application of Borylated Hexabenzocoronenes in Organic Devices”, ACS, Boston, MA Aug 2007.
“Hydrogels with Cleavable Crosslinker as Sacrificial Structures and Sensors for Microfluidic Systems”, MicroTas, Nara, Japan Nov 2002.
“Hydrogels for Surface Localized Chemoselective Conjugation”, Allerton Conference, Monticello, IL Oct 2002.
“Fluorescently-labeled, Diblock Copolymers Useful for Probing Macromolecular Assemblies”, Texas A&M University Undergraduate Poster Symposium, College Station, TX Apr 2000.

Awards and Professional Activities

J. Mater. Chem. Emerging Investigator themed issue 2016

NSF CAREER Award 2014

University-Level Early Career Faculty Excellence Award 2014

Thieme Chemistry Journal Award 2014

Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship 2006

Dow Chemical Scholarship in connection with summer internship 1999

Monsanto Chemistry Scholarship 1998

Professional Activities

Southern Illinois Local ACS Section, Chair 2015

Cal Meyers Memorial Organic Chemistry Symposium (Ei-ichi Negishi keynote), Co-organizer 2012

NSF Proposals, Panelist and Reviewer 2012 - present

DOE Science Graduate Fellowship Program, Reviewer 2011

Alberta Ingenuity Fund, Reviewer 2011

Postdoctoral Mentoring Workshop, Columbia University, Panelist 2010

Nanohour Seminar Series, Organizer and Host 2003 - 2005

American Chemical Society, Member 1999 - Present

J. Am. Chem. Soc., Chem. Sci, Org. Lett., Langmuir, Macromolecules, J. Polym Sci. Part A

Soft Mater., J. Mater. Chem., Reviewer 2003 - Present

Activities and Community Service

IJAS State Exposition, Science Judge 2012- Present

Heartland GK-12 Science Symposium, Judge 2012- Present

SIU Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Forum, Judge 2012- Present

Illinois Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Poster, Judge 2011- Present

Faculty University Associate (FUA) – Neely Hall 2011- Present

Beckman Open House, University of Illinois, Volunteer 2001 - 2002

Educating Tomorrow’s Chemists (ETC), Urbana Middle School, Volunteer 2001 - 2005

Science Fair, Dr. Howard Elementary School, Judge 2001 - 2003

Science Olympiad, Illinois Regional and State Competitions, Organizer 2001 - 2003

Awarded Research Funding

National Science Foundation – CHE-MSN

“CAREER: Electron Acceptor Materials Based on Cyclopenta-fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”

$650,000 (PI) 02/01/14 – 01/30/19 Status: Current
SIU Competitive Collaborative Seed Grant

“Surface functionalization of titanium dioxide for electrochemical sensing and release”

$47,452 (PI) 06/01/14 – 09/01/15 Status: Completed
Illinois Clean Coal Institute

“Coal Based Solar Cells”

$44,900 (PI) 12/01/13 – 11/30/14 Status: Completed
SIU Competitive Seed Program

“N-type Semiconductors for Organic Photovoltaic Devices”

$16,725 (PI) 07/01/11 – 06/30/12 Status: Completed

University Service


Graduate Student Advisement Committee August 1, 2010 - present

Graduate Curriculum Committee August 1, 2012 - present

Meyers Memorial Symposium Organizer August 1, 2012 - present

Chemistry Lecturer Search Committee December 1, 2011 - January 1, 2012

Graduate Student Admissions Committee August 1, 2010 – August 1, 2013

College and University:

Faculty Senate April 2016-present

SIU Honorary Degree and Distinguished Service Awards Committee October 2015- present

SIU Early Career Faculty Excellence Award Committee January 2015 - present

Faculty & University Associate (FUA) July 1, 2011 - present

Master’s Fellowship Review Panel January 22, 2013 - present

MTC Director Search Committee January 1, 2011 - August 1, 2012

Saluki Move-in August 2012

Students Currently Advising

Sambasivareddy Bheemireddy (G), Gajanan Kulkarni (G), Peter Rose (G), Bingxin Yuan (G), Bridgett Ludwig (UG), Yue-Huan (Kevin) Lyu (UG)

Former Students

Ian Brown (G), Jessica Jellison (G), Ryan Chun (UG), Nicholas Klauba (UG), Che-Hsiung Lee (G)Cassandra Meadows (HS), Jameelah Muhammad (UG, REU), Harrison Oakley (UG), Jack Pertile (UG), Joshua Rathod (UG, REU), Cecilia Smith (UG, REU), Marlee Trandel (UG), Jordan Wood (UG), Xinju Zhu (G)

Advanced Degrees Awarded

Xinju Zhu, Ph.D., 2015, “Synthesis of Highly Ordered Polymer Nanostructures Based on Polyphenylene Vinylenes (PPVs)”
Jessica Jellison, M.S. 2013, “Electron Accepting Materials based on Cyclopenta[h,i]aceanthrylenes and Dicyclopenta[de,mn]tetracenes”
Che-Hsiung Lee, M.S. 2014, “Orthogonal Functionalization of Cyclopenta[hi]aceanthrylenes”

Student Presentations (presenting author underlined, *=undergraduate)

Sambasiva Reddy Bheemireddy and Kyle N. Plunkett, “Utilizing Palladium Catalyzed Cyclopentannulations to Create Contorted Aromatics, ACS 2015, Boston, MA Aug 2015.
Sambasiva R. Bheemireddy, Pamela C. Ubaldo, Aaron D. Finke, Lichang Wang, and Kyle N. Plunkett, “Utilizing Palladium Catalyzed Cyclopentannulations to Create Contorted Aromatics and Pentacene-Based CP-PAHs”, Scifinder Future Leaders in Chemistry Program, Columbus, OH, Aug 2015.
Sambasiva Reddy Bheemireddy and Kyle N. Plunkett, “Utilizing Palladium Catalyzed Cyclopentannulations to Create Contorted Aromatics, 2nd Cal Meyers Organic Research Symposium, Carbondale, IL, Apr 2015.

Bingxin Yuan and Kyle N. Plunkett, “Cyclopenta-fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Containing Copolymers Based on Rylene Dyes”, ACS 2014, Dallas, TX Mar 2014.
Sambasivareddy Bheemireddy and Kyle N. Plunkett, “Synthesis of Dicyclopenta[cd,jk]pyrene Based Donor-Acceptor Copolymers”, ACS 2014, Dallas, TX Mar 2014.
Xinju Zhu, Shauna E. Ingle, David A Vanden Bout, and Kyle N. Plunkett, “Engineering Polymer Self-assembly via Sidechain Modification”, ACS 2014, Dallas, TX Mar 2014.
Yue-Huan Lyu*, Che-Hsiung Lee, and Kyle N. Plunkett, “Orthogonal Functionalization of Dicyclopenta[de,mn]tetracenes”, SIU Undergraduate Research Forum, Carbondale, IL Apr 2013.
Che-Hsiung Lee and Kyle N. Plunkett, “Orthogonal Functionalization of Cyclopenta[hi]aceanthrylenes”, Cal Meyers Memorial Organic Chemistry Symposium, Carbondale, IL Apr 2013.
Cecilia L. Smith* and Kyle N. Plunkett, “Controlling the Chain Conformation of Conjugated Polymers”, ACS-Southeast Regional Meeting, Raleigh, NC Nov 2012.
Xinju Zhu and Kyle N. Plunkett, “Well-Defined Alternating Copolymers of Oligo(Phenylene Vinylene)s and Flexible Morphons”, ICSM 2012, Atlanta, GA July 2012.
Che-Hsiung Lee and Kyle N. Plunkett, “Thiophene Conjugated Cyclopenta-fused Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons as Low Band Gap Materials”, ICSM 2012, Atlanta, GA July 2012.
Harrison Oakley* and Kyle N. Plunkett, “Synthesis and Characterization of Poly[3,8-bis(2-ethyhexyl)1,6-pyrene)s”, SIU Undergraduate Research Forum, Carbondale, IL Apr 2012.

Student Awards (with my contribution)

Sambasivareddy Bheemireddy – ACS DOC Graduate Research Symposium, 2016

Sambasivareddy Bheemireddy – SIU Doctoral Graduate Fellowship, 2016

Sambasivareddy Bheemireddy – SciFinder Future Leaders in Chemistry Program, 2014

Xinju Zhu – SIU Doctoral Research Fellowship, 2014

Xinju Zhu – Gower Research Fellowship, 2014

Yue-Huan (Kevin) Lyu – Saluki Scholars Research Opportunity, 2014

Yue-Huan (Kevin) Lyu – Saluki Research Rookies, 2013

Harrison Oakley – Saluki Research Rookies, 2012

Updated: 4/28/16

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