Vat photopolymerization of highly filled polymer composites

We fabricate highly filled (50-70 vol.%), high resolution composite structures via vat photopolymerization. We have demonstrated that mechanics of these composites can be tailored through the reinforcement-polymer interface.


  1. Wang, Y.; Hansen, C. J.; Wu, C.-C.; Robinette, E. J.; Peterson, A. M. Effect of surface wettability on the interfacial adhesion of a thermosetting elastomer on glass, RSC Advances, 2021, 11, 31142-31151.
  2. Wang, Y.; Hansen, C. J.; McAninch, I. M.; Robinette, E. J.; Peterson, A. M. Resin Wettability Correlates Linearly to Interfacial Fracture Energy between Thermosetting Elastomers and Glass, ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2022, 4(6), 4244-4253.
  3. Wang, Y.; Delarue, A. P.; McAninch, I. M.; Hansen, C. J.; Robinette, E. J.; Peterson, A. M. Digital Light Processing of Highly-Filled Polymer Composites with Interface-Mediated Mechanical Properties, ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2022, 4(9), 6477-6486.
  4. Wang, Y.; McAninch, I. M.; Delarue, A. P.; Hansen, C. J.; Robinette, E. J.; Peterson, A. M. Additively manufactured thermosetting elastomer composites: Small changes in resin formulation lead to large changes in mechanical and viscoelastic properties, Materials Advances, 2023, 4, 607-615.

Material extrusion additive manufacturing of semi-crystalline polymers

We investigate what leads to printability in semi-crystalline polymers by comparing a hot melt adhesive and a Nylon. The hot melt adhesive is capable of bulk, or better than bulk, properties when additively manufactured, so we have explored reasons why and have also investigated the effect of reinforcement on printed structure performance.


  1. Pourali, M.; Peterson, A. M.; Fused Filament Fabrication of Void-Free Parts using Low Viscosity Hot Melt Adhesives, Additive Manufacturing, 2021, 46, 102110.
  2. Pourali, M.; Peterson, A. M.; A tale of two polyamides: comparing the crystallization kinetics of a hot-melt adhesive and a PA 6/66 copolymer, Thermochimica Acta, 2022, 710, 179176.
  3. Pourali, M.; Peterson, A. M. The Effect of Toolpath and Glass Fiber Reinforcement on Bond Strength and Dimensional Accuracy in Fused Filament Fabrication of a Hot Melt Adhesive, Additive Manufacturing, 2022, 103056.

Adaptive Fused Filament Fabrication

We explore how to enable on-line property prediction in desktop scale material extrusion (fused filament fabrication, FFF).


  1. Kazmer, D. O.; Colon, A.; Peterson, A. M.; Kim, S. K. Concurrent Characterization of Compressibility and Viscosity in Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene with Fault Diagnoses, Additive Manufacturing, 2021, 46, 102106.
  2. Peterson, A. M.; Kazmer, D. O. Predicting Mechanical Properties of Material Extrusion Additive Manufacturing-Fabricated Structures with Limited Information: Harnessing Entanglement Theory and Modeling, Scientific Reports, 2022, 12, 14736.
  3. Kazmer, D.; Peterson, A. M.; Masato, D.; Colon, A. R.; Krantz, J. Strategic cost and sustainability analyses of injection molding and material extrusion additive manufacturing, Polymer Engineering and Science, 2023, 63(3), 943-958.

Finite element modeling of material extrusion additive manufacturing

We use FEA to model thermal profiles in MatEx structures, from the benchtop (fused filament fabrication, FFF) to room (big area additive manufacturing, BAAM) scales. This research helps us answer questions such as: 1. What print parameters are important to part performance and why? 2. What makes a material printable? 3. What is the role of printer/print scale on dominating physics? 4. What is the “best” toolpath for a given structure? 


  1. D’Amico, A.; Peterson, A. M An Adaptable FEA Simulation of Material Extrusion Additive Manufacturing Heat Transfer in 3D. Additive Manufacturing, 2018, 21, 422-430.
  2. D’Amico, T.; Peterson, A. M.; Bead parameterization of desktop and room-scale material extrusion additive manufacturing: How print speed and thermal properties affect heat transfer. Additive Manufacturing, 2020, 34, 101239.


Materials informatics approaches to AM

Processing–structure–property relationships in material extrusion additive manufacturing are complex, nonlinear, and poorly understood. We designed an informatics workflow for the collection of high-pedigree data from each stage of the FFF printing process. In conjunction with a design of experiments, we applied the workflow to investigate the influences of processing parameters on weld strength across three commercially available FFF printers. Environmental, material, and print conditions that may impact performance were monitored to ensure that relevant data were collected in a consistent manner.

Data: Complete raw experimental data, analyzed data, metadata, and failure surface images are available through download at the NIST Dspace repositories.


  1. Braconnier, D. J.; Jensen, R. E.; Peterson, A. M.; Processing parameter correlations in material extrusion additive manufacturing. Additive Manufacturing, 2020, 31, 100924.


Humidity tempering of polyelectrolyte complexes

Water plays an important role in the structure and properties of polyelectrolyte-based materials. We have explored as a novel approach to tailoring the structure and mechanical properties of polyelectrolyte-based materials under mild conditions that are well-suited to biomaterials and controlled release. After exposure to higher humidities (humidity tempering), water from the humid air plasticizes the PEC, increasing mobility and facilitating chain reorganization, which results in a structure with more intrinsic electrostatic bonds (cross-links) and higher moduli. Humidity tempering can achieve a 35% increase in PEC stiffness during room temperature processing with water as the only solvent. 


  1. Lyu, X.; Clark, B.; Peterson, A. M. Thermal transitions in and structures of polyelectrolytes and polyelectrolyte complexes, Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics, 2017, 55(8), 684-691.
  2. Lyu, X.; Peterson, A. M.; Humidity tempering of polyelectrolyte complexes. Macromolecules, 2018, 51(23), 10003-10010.


Assembly-driven control on polyelectrolyte multilayers

In many applications of PEMs, a base polycation layer is adsorbed to promote adhesion of the PEM to the substrate. We have investigated the effect of the first polyelectrolyte adsorbed in a PEM by assembling PEMs with first layer polycations of different chemistries and molecular weights. First layer choice affects the total mass accumulation of the PEM as well as the stoichiometry of the PEM. These findings indicate that the structure of a PEM is fundamentally different depending on first layer chemistry and molecular weight. PEM topography is also affected by first layer choice. We have subsequently harnessed this knowledge to create model substrates for probing individual affects of substrate properties on cell culture.


  1. Lyu, X.; Peterson, A. M. The Princess and the Pea Effect: Influence of the first layer on polyelectrolyte multilayer assembly and properties, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 2017, 502, 165-171.
  2. Ding, I.; Walz, J. A.; Mace, C. R.; Peterson, A. M.; Early hMSC morphology and proliferation on model polyelectrolyte multilayers. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2019, 178, 276-284.
  3. Towle, E. G.; Ding, I.; Peterson, A. M.; Impact of Molecular Weight on Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Assembly and Surface Properties. Journal of Colloid & Interface Science, 2020, 570, 135-142.


Growth factor release from polyelectrolyte multilayers

GFs act as biochemical cues for cells and, as such, are powerful tools for modulating tissue regeneration, wound healing and cancer treatment. However, their application in biomedicine is challenging for a number of reasons, including cost, stability, and myriad potential negative outcomes when GF amount and release location are not optimized. We investigate the role of assembly conditions on PEM surface properties and GF/drug release. Our overarching goal is to develop fully tailorable PEMs so that we can study the independent, competing, and synergistic effects of physical, chemical, and biochemical cues on cell function independently, then harness these systems for cell manufacturing and tissue engineering. 


  1. Salvi, C.; Lyu, X.; Peterson, A. M. Effect of assembly pH on polyelectrolyte multilayer surface properties and BMP-2 release, Biomacromolecules, 2016, 17(6), 1949-1958.
  2. Yang, H.; Peterson, A. M. Inkjet printed drug-releasing polyelectrolyte multilayers for wound healing, AIMS Materials Science, 2017, 4(2) 452-469.
  3. Ding, I.; Shendi, D. M.; Rolle, M. W.; Peterson, A. M. Growth factor-releasing polyelectrolyte multilayer films for controlling cell culture environment, Langmuir, 2018, 34(3), 1178-1189.
  4. Ding, I.; Peterson, A. M.; Half-Life Modeling of Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor and its Media Concentration from Growth Factor-Eluting Polyelectrolyte Multilayers. Scientific Reports, 2021, 11, 9808.