We are an interdisciplinary research group interested in a broad range of fundamental and applied aspects of materials chemistry in general, and macromolecular science in particular. Our efforts are geared towards the design and synthesis of adaptive polymers and understanding the molecular level events governing their behavior in various environments. Synthetic efforts are directed towards the development of multi-phase stimuli-responsive nano-materials. Parallel efforts focus on the design of self-healing polymeric materials with light sensitivity, corrosion inhibition, anti-fouling, antimicrobial, and other unique attributes. Using chemical imaging along with an array of other spectroscopic and macroscopic tools, we design and develop new generations of materials with adaptable, sensing, and signaling  properties.


Oct. 2018. The 2018 Science paper published by Urban Research Group received significant media attention (more in the News…)
Jul. 2018. Christian Pattyn (summer student; U. New Mexico) has won the best poster presentation award at Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) within the Townes Program.
Apr. 2018.Chris Hornat
took the 3rd Place in Clemson Graduate Research and Discovery Symp. (GRADS).
Oct. 2017. Dmitriy Davydovich 
received the Award of Excellence 3rd Place at the Ceramic, Composite, and Optical Materials Center Poster Competition at Clemson University.
Mar. 2017. Chris Hornat 
was selected to give an oral presentation at the Excellence in Graduate Research Symposium at the Amer. Chem. Soc. Spring National Meeting in San Francisco, CA.
Apr. 2017. Chris Hornat 
gave a talk at the ACS Spring National Meeting, POLY Division, Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research Symposium, San Francisco, CA.
Apr. 2017. Chris Hornat 
took the 3rd Place in Clemson Graduate Research and Discovery Symp. (GRADS).
Mar. 2016. Chris Hornat 
received a Special Award in the Clemson MRS and OSA Poster Competition.
Oct. 2016. 
Dr. Ying Yang 
won the best Poster Research Award presented by Royal Chemical Society at International Symposium on Stimuli-Responsive Materials; Sonoma, CA, USA.
Aug. 2016. Ying Yang 
defended and completed her PhD dissertation.


M.W. Urban, D. Davydovich, Y. Yang, T. Demir, Y. Zhang, L. Casabianca, “Key-and-lock commodity self-healing copolymers,” Science, 2018, 362 (6411), 220-225.
Y. Yang, D. Davydovich, C.C. Hornat, X. Liu, M.W. Urban, “Leaf-Inspired Self-Healing Polymers,” CHEM. 2018, https://doi.org /10.1016/j.chempr.2018.06.001.
Y. Yang, M.W. Urban, “Self-Healing of Polymers via Supramolecular Chemistry,” Adv. Mater. Interfaces, 2018, http://doi.org/10.1002/admi.201800384.
Y. Yang, M.W. Urban, “Self-healing of Glucose-Modified Polyurethane Networks Facilitated by Damage-Induced Primary Amines,” Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 303 – 309.
C.C. Hornat, Y. Yang, M.W. Urban, “Quantitative Predictions of Shape Memory in Polymers,” Adv. Mater., 2017, 29, 1603334.
X. Liu, Y. Yang, M.W. Urban “Stimuli-Responsive Polymeric Nanoparticles,” Macromol. Rapid Comm., 2017, 38, 1700030.
C. Lu, M.W. Urban, “Stimuli-Responsive Polymer Nano-Science: Shape Anisotropy, Responsiveness, Applications,” Prog. Polym. Sci.2018, 78, 24-46.
C. Lu, M.W. Urban, “Synthesis and Directional Assembly of Gibbous and Inverse-Gibbous Colloidal Nanoparticles,” Mater. Today, 2016, 9, 41-46.
C. Lu, M.W. Urban, “Instantaneous Directional Growth of Block Copolymer Nanowires During Heterogeneous Radical Polymerization (HRP),” Nano Lett., 2016, 4, 2873–2877.
M.W. Urban. “Stimuli-Responsive Materials; From Molecules to Nature Mimicking Materials Design,” Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016 (ISBN: 978-1-84973-656-5)