Ryan Hayward
James and Catherine Patten Endowed Professor
Chemical and Biological Engineering

Office: JSCBB E1B36

Research Interests

Assembly of polymer and particle-based nanostructures; mechanics and instabilities of soft active materials. 

Active polymer materials and interfaces.

Our group works on a variety of projects related to soft and stimulus-responsive polymer films that can be dynamically reconfigured to change their structures and properties. We take advantage of mechanical instabilities and patterned growth as mechanisms to drive structural transformations. 

Selft assembly of polymers and particles

We study questions related to assembly of polymers and particles in a variety of contexts including emulsion processing, solution-state crystallization-driven assembly, and melt-state organization in nanocomposites. Our primary interests lie in developing approaches to tailor nansocale structure for materials with applications ranging from encapsulation and delivery to renewable energy.


BSE Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, 1999
PhD Chemical Engineering, UC Santa Barbara, 2004


  • National Science Foundation Special Creativity Extension (2019)​
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society (2018)
  • Blavatnik National Awards Finalist in Physical Sciences & Engineering (2018)
  • Chaire Michelin, ESPCI (2016)
  • Dudley A. Saville Lecturer, Princeton University (2014)
  • American Physical Society John H. Dillon Medal (2014)
  • Journal of Polymer Science Innovation Award (2013)
  • DOE Early Career Award (2011)
  • ACS Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry Unilever Award (2011)
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2010)
  • 3M Nonentured Faculty Award (2009-2011)
  • ACS Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award (2009)
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2008)

Selected Publications

  • A.S. Kuenstler, K.D. Clark, J. Read de Alaniz, R.C. Hayward, "Reversible Actuation via Photoisomerization-Induced Melting of a Semicrystalline Poly(Azobenzene)", ACS Macro Letter 9, 902-909 (2020). DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.0c00328
  • H.J. Kim, L. Paquin, C.W. Barney, S. So, B. Chen, Z. Suo, A.J. Crosby, R.C. Hayward, "Low-Voltage Reversible Electro-Adhesion of Ionoelsatomer Junctions", Advanced Materials, 32, 2000600 (2020). DOI: 10.1002/adma.202000600
  • H.J. Kim, B. Chen, Z. Suo, R.C. Hayward, "Ionoelastomer Junctions Between Polymer Networks of Fixzed Anions and Cations", Science, 367, 773-776 (2020). DOI: 10.1126/science.aay8467
  • J.-H. Kang, H. Kim, C.D. Santangelo, R.C. Hayward, "Enabling Robust Self-Folding Origami by Pre-Biasing Vertex Buckling Direction", Advanced Materials (2019). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201903006
  • H. Kim, J.-H. Kang, Y. Zhou, A.S. Kuenstler, Y. Kim, C. Chen, T. Emrick, R.C. Hayward, "Light-Driven Shape Morphing, Assembly, and Motion of Nanocomposite Gel Surfers", Advanced Materials (2019). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201900932 
  • D. Zeng, R.C. Hayward, "Effects of Randomly End-Linked Copolymer Network Parameters on the Formation of Disordered Cocontinuous Phases", Macromolecules, 52, 2642-2650 (2019). DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.9b00050
  • A.S. Kuenstler, R.C. Hayward, "Light-Induced Shape Morphing of Thin Films", Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science, 40, 70-86 (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.cocis.2019.01.009