Photo of Christian Pester

Christian Pester

Associate Professor


  • Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering

314 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building


Research Website

Google Scholar Profile

Interest Areas:

Shining Light on Soft Materials: Polymer chemistry and physics; engineering of smart and adaptive surfaces; optical lithography; heterogeneous photoredox catalysis




  • Diploma, Polymer and Colloid Chemistry, University of Bayreuth, 2009
  • Doctorate, Physical Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University, DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, 2013


Journal Articles

  • Michele Fromel, Edmondo M. Benetti and Christian Pester, 2022, "Oxygen Tolerance in Surface-Initiated Reversible Deactivation Radical Polymerizations: Are Polymer Brushes Turning into Technology?", ACS Macro Letters, 11, (4), pp. 415-421
  • Michele Fromel and Christian Pester, 2022, "Polycarbonate Surface Modification via Aqueous SI-PET-RAFT", Macromolecules, 55, (12), pp. 4907-4915
  • Huseyin Kaya, Dien Ngo, Seung Ho Hahn, Mingxiao Li, Hongtu He, Beyza Yedikarde, Ilkay Sokmen, Christian Pester, Nikolas J Podraza, Stephane Gin and Seong H Kim, 2021, "Estimating Internal Stress of an Alteration Layer Formed on Corroded Boroaluminosilicate Glass through Spectroscopic Ellipsometry Analysis", ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 13, (42), pp. 50470-50480
  • Kirsten Bell, Sarah Freeburne, Michele Fromel, Hee Oh and Christian Pester, 2021, "Heterogeneous photoredox catalysis using fluorescein polymer brush functionalized glass beads", Journal of Polymer Science, 59, (22), pp. 2844-2853
  • Jade Poisson, Alexander M. Polgar, Michele Fromel, Christian Pester and Zachary M. Hudson, 2021, "Preparation of Patterned and Multilayer Thin Films for Organic Electronics via Oxygen-Tolerant SI-PET-RAFT", Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 60, (36), pp. 19988-19996
  • Michele Fromel, Devon M. Sweeder, Seokhoon Jang, Teague A. Williams, Seong H Kim and Christian Pester, 2021, "Superhydrophilic Polymer Brushes with High Durability and Anti-fogging Activity", ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 3, (10), pp. 5291-5301
  • Gervase Ng, Peter Judzewitsch, Mingxiao Li, Christian Pester, Kenward Jung and Cyrille Boyer, 2021, "Synthesis of Polymer Brushes Via SI-PET-RAFT for Photodynamic Inactivation of Bacteria", Macromolecular Rapid Communications, 42, (18)
  • Michele Fromel, Raymond L. Crisci III, Chinmay S. Sankhe, Danielle Hickey, Timothy B. Tighe, Esther Gomez and Christian Pester, 2021, "User-friendly chemical patterning with digital light projection polymer brush photolithography", European Polymer Journal, 158
  • Gervase Ng, Mingxiao Li, Jonathan Yeow, Kenward Jung, Christian Pester and Cyrille Boyer, 2020, "Benchtop Preparation of Polymer Brushes by SI-PET-RAFT: The Effect of the Polymer Composition and Structure on Inhibition of a Pseudomonas Biofilm", ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 12, (49), pp. 55243-55254
  • M Li, M Fromel, D. Ranaweera and Christian Pester, 2020, "Comparison of Long-term Stability of Initiating Monolayers in Surface-initiated Controlled Radical Polymerizations", Macromolecular Rapid Communications, (41), pp. 2000337
  • M Li and Christian Pester, 2020, "Mixed Polymer Brushes for ‘Smart’ Surfaces", Polymers, (12), pp. 1553
  • M Fromel, M Li and Christian Pester, 2020, "Surface Engineering with Polymer Brush Photolithography", Macromolecular Rapid Communications, (41)
  • R Xie, R Weisen, Y Lee, M A Aplan, M Fenton, A Masucci, F Kempe, M Sommer, Christian Pester, Ralph Colby and Enrique Daniel Gomez, 2020, "Glass Transition Temperature from the Chemical Structure of Conjugated Polymers", Nature Communications, (11), pp. 893
  • Mingxiao Li, Michele Fromel, Dhanesh Ranaweera, Sergio Rocha, Cyrille Boyer and Christian Pester, 2019, "SI-PET-RAFT: Surface-Initiated Photoinduced Electron Transfer-Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer Polymerization", ACS Macro Letters, 8, (4), pp. 374-380
  • Benjaporn Narupai, Zachariah A. Page, Nicolas J. Treat, Alaina J. McGrath, Christian Pester, Emre H. Discekici, Neil D. Dolinski, Gregory F. Meyers, de Alaniz, Javier Read and Craig J. Hawker, 2018, "Simultaneous Preparation of Multiple Polymer Brushes under Ambient Conditions using Microliter Volumes", Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 57, (41), pp. 13433-13438
  • Bernd Oschmann, Jimmy Lawrence, Morgan W. Schulze, Jing M. Ren, Athina Anastasaki, Yingdong Luo, Mitchell D. Nothling, Christian Pester, Kris T. Delaney, Luke A. Connal, Alaina J. McGrath, Paul G. Clark, Christopher M. Bates and Craig J. Hawker, 2017, "Effects of Tailored Dispersity on the Self-Assembly of Dimethylsiloxane-Methyl Methacrylate Block Co-Oligomers", ACS Macro Letters, 6, (7), pp. 668-673
  • Zachariah A. Page, Benjaporn Narupai, Christian Pester, Raghida Bou Zerdan, Anatoliy Sokolov, David S. Laitar, Sukrit Mukhopadhyay, Scott Sprague, Alaina J. McGrath, John W. Krarner, Peter Trefonas and Craig J. Hawker, 2017, "Novel Strategy for Photopatterning Emissive Polymer Brushes for Organic Light Emitting Diode Applications", ACS Central Science, 3, (6), pp. 654-661
  • Christian Pester, Clemens Liedel, Markus Ruppel and Alexander Boeker, 2017, "Block copolymers in electric fields", Progress in Polymer Science, 64, pp. 182-214
  • Christian Pester, Justin E. Poelma, Benjaporn Narupai, Shrayesh N. Patel, Gregory M. Su, Thomas E. Mates, Yingdong Luo, Christopher K. Ober, Craig J. Hawker and Edward J. Kramer, 2016, "Ambiguous Anti-Fouling Surfaces: Facile Synthesis by Light-Mediated Radical Polymerization", Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 54, (2), pp. 253-262
  • Christian Pester, Benjaporn Narupai, Kaila M. Mattson, David P. Bothman, Daniel Klinger, Kenneth W. Lee, Emre H. Discekici and Craig J. Hawker, 2016, "Engineering Surfaces through Sequential Stop-Flow Photopatterning", Advanced Materials, 28, (42), pp. 9292-9300
  • Benjaporn Narupai, Justin E. Poelma, Christian Pester, Alaina J. McGrath, Edward P. Toumayan, Yingdong Luo, John W. Kramer, Paul G. Clark, Paresh C. Ray and Craig J. Hawker, 2016, "Hierarchical Comb Brush Architectures via Sequential Light-Mediated Controlled Radical Polymerizations", Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 54, (15), pp. 2276-2284
  • Yingdong Luo, Bongkeun Kim, Damien Montarnal, Zoltan Mester, Christian Pester, Alaina J. McGrath, Glake Hill, Edward J. Kramer, Glenn H. Fredrickson and Craig J. Hawker, 2016, "Improved Self-Assembly of Poly(dimethylsiloxane-b-ethylene oxide) Using a Hydrogen-Bonding Additive", Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 54, (14), pp. 2200-2208
  • Kaila M. Mattson, Christian Pester, Will R. Gutekunst, Andy T. Hsueh, Emre H. Discekici, Yingdong Luo, Schmidt, Bernhard V. K. J., Alaina J. McGrath, Paul G. Clark and Craig J. Hawker, 2016, "Metal-Free Removal of Polymer Chain Ends Using Light", Macromolecules, 49, (21), pp. 8162-8166
  • Christine C. Kathrein, Christian Pester, Markus Ruppel, Maike Jung, Marc Zimmermann and Alexander Boeker, 2016, "Reorientation mechanisms of block copolymer/CdSe quantum dot composites under application of an electric field", Soft Matter, 12, (40), pp. 8417-8424
  • Emre H. Discekici, Christian Pester, Nicolas J. Treat, Immy Lawrence, Kaila M. Mattson, Benjaporn Narupai, Edward P. Toumayan, Yingdong Luo, Alaina J. McGrath, Paul G. Clark, de Alaniz, Javier Read and Craig J. Hawker, 2016, "Simple Benchtop Approach to Polymer Brush Nanostructures Using Visible-Light-Mediated Metal-Free Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization", ACS Macro Letters, 5, (2), pp. 258-262
  • C X Wang, A Braendle, M S Menyo, Christian Pester, E E Perl, I Arias, C J Haw ander, , 2015, "Catechol-based layer-by-layer assembly of composite coatings: a versatile platform to hierarchical nano-materials", Soft Matter, 11, pp. 6173-6178
  • Christian Pester, Kristin Schmidt, Markus Ruppel, Heiko G. Schoberth and Alexander Boeker, 2015, "Electric-Field-Induced Order-Order Transition from Hexagonally Perforated Lamellae to Lamellae", Macromolecules, 48, (17), pp. 6206-6213
  • Yingdong Luo, Damien Montarnal, Sangwon Kirn, Weichao Shi, Katherine P. Barteau, Christian Pester, Phillip D. Hustad, Matthew D. Christianson, Glenn H. Fredrickson, Edward J. Kramer and Craig J. Hawker, 2015, "Poly(dimethylsiloxane-b-methyl methacrylate): A Promising Candidate for Sub-10 nm Patterning", Macromolecules, 48, (11), pp. 3422-3430
  • Rahul Tiwari, Daniel Hoenders, Susanne Schipmann, Bjoern Schulte, Paramita Das, Christian Pester, Uwe Klemradt and Andreas Walthert, 2014, "A Versatile Synthesis Platform To Prepare Uniform, Highly Functional Microgels via Click-Type Functionalization of Latex Particles", Macromolecules, 47, (7), pp. 2257-2267
  • Clemens Liedel, Christian Pester, Markus Ruppel, Christian Lewin, Mariela J. Pavan, Volker S. Urban, Roy Shenhar, Peter Boesecke and Alexander Boeker, 2013, "Block Copolymer Nanocomposites in Electric Fields: Kinetics of Alignment", ACS Macro Letters, 2, (1), pp. 53-58
  • Kadriye Oezlem Nazli, Christian Pester, Artjom Konradi, Alexander Boeker, van Rijn and Patrick, 2013, "Cross-Linking Density and Temperature Effects on the Self-Assembly of SiO2-PNIPAAm Core-Shell Particles at Interfaces", Chemistry - A European Journal, 19, (18), pp. 5586-5594
  • Markus Ruppel, Christian Pester, Karol M. Langner, Sevink, Geert J. A., Heiko G. Schoberth, Kristin Schmidt, Volker S. Urban, Jimmy W. Mays and Alexander Boeker, 2013, "Electric Field Induced Selective Disordering in Lamellar Block Copolymers", ACS Nano, 7, (5), pp. 3854-3867
  • Clemens Liedel, Kerstin A. Schindler, Mariela J. Pavan, Christian Lewin, Christian Pester, Markus Ruppel, Volker S. Urban, Roy Shenhar and Alexander Boeker, 2013, "Electric-Field-Induced Alignment of Block Copolymer/Nanoparticle Blends", Small, 9, (19), pp. 3276-3281
  • Heiko G. Schoberth, Christian Pester, Markus Ruppe, Volker S. Urban and Alexander Boeker, 2013, "Orientation-Dependent Order-Disorder Transition of Block Copolymer Lamellae in Electric Fields", ACS Macro Letters, 2, (6), pp. 469-473
  • Clemens Liedel, Christian Pester, Markus Ruppel, Volker S. Urban and Alexander Boeker, 2012, "Beyond Orientation: The Impact of Electric Fields on Block Copolymers", Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 213, (3), pp. 259-269
  • Christian Pester, Artjom Konradi, Birte Varnholt, van Rijn, Patrick and Alexander Boeker, 2012, "Responsive Macroscopic Materials From Self-Assembled Cross-Linked SiO2-PNIPAAm Core/Shell Structures", Advanced Functional Materials, 22, (8), pp. 1724-1731
  • Christian Pester, Markus Ruppel, Heiko G. Schoberth, Kristin Schmidt, Clemens Liedel, van Rijn, Patrick, Kerstin A. Schindler, Stephanie Hiltl, Thomas Czubak, Jimmy Mays, Volker S. Urban and Alexander Boeker, 2011, "Piezoelectric Properties of Non-Polar Block Copolymers", Advanced Materials, 23, (35), pp. 4047-4052
  • Kristin Schmidt, Christian Pester, Heiko G. Schoberth, Heiko Zettl, Kerstin A. Schindler and Alexander Boeker, 2010, "Electric Field Induced Gyroid-to-Cylinder Transitions in Concentrated Diblock Copolymer Solutions", Macromolecules, 43, (9), pp. 4268-4274

Research Projects

Honors and Awards

  • PMSE Young Investigator Award, American Chemical Society, 2022
  • NSF CAREER Award, National Science Foundation (CBET), 2022
  • IUPAC Young Observer for the 51st IUPAC General Assembly and 48th World Chemistry Congress, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, 2021
  • Thomas K. Hepler Early Career Professorship in Chemical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, 2020
  • Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award, American Chemical Society, 2019
  • First Place, MRS Science as Art Notecard competition, Materials Research Society, 2016
  • MRS Science as Art Award, Materials Research Society, 2016
  • ICMR International Research Fellowship Award, International Center for Materials Research (UCSB), 2015
  • Dow Travel Fellowship, Dow Materials Institute (DowMI) and the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL, UCSB), 2015
  • Feodor Lynen Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 2014
  • Borchers Medal, RWTH Aachen University, 2014
  • Young Scientist Travel Grant, International Union of Crystallography President’s Fund, 2012


Service to Penn State:

Service to External Organizations:




The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

Department of Chemical Engineering

121 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2574