I am a Professor of Chemistry and lead a research group Smart Photonic Materials (click here to enter our web page and scroll down to find in CV and publication list in pdf form). We conduct research on functional soft materials whose properties can be controlled by external stimuli. We especially focus on light-activated materials because light offers a clean and remote stimulus that can trigger material changes with high spatial and temporal resolution. We apply these materials to various directions such as soft robotics, photonics and biomaterials science.
Light has many faces, as do functional materials. Put them together, and the possibilities are limitless!
In scientific research, I believe in
- Interdisciplinarity: We need both physicists and chemists to understand new materials. And we need new materials for technologies of tomorrow.
- Collaboration: Let's join forces, since together we are stronger. And by working together, let's make Tampere University stronger.
- Basic science: Scientific research should not be driven by short-term technological or societal needs. By laying the foundations properly, the technological and societal advancements will follow.
- Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Tampere University (01/2019-)
- Associate Professor (tenure track), Laboratory of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Tampere University of Technology (05/2017-12/2018)
- Assistant Professor (tenure track), Laboratory of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Tampere University of Technology (09/2014 - 04/2017)
- International Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry, Materials, and Chemica Engineering, Politecnico di Milano (12/2013 - 08/2014)
- Post-Doctoral Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, Chemical Resources Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology (12/2010 - 12/2012)
- Aalto University Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University (08/2010 - 11/2013)
- PhD in Department of Applied Physics, Helsinki University of Technology (10/2004 - 09/2009)
- MSc in Department of Phycsis, Tampere University of Technology (08/2003 - 09/2004)
- 09/2018-02/2020 - ERC Proof of Concept Grant "Optical Sensing of Relative Humidity Using Photoswitchable Molecules"
- 05/2016-04/2021 - ERC Starting Grant "Tunable Photonic Structures via Photomechanical Actuation"
- 09/2014-08/2019 - Academy of Finland Research Fellowship "Halogen-Bonded Photocontrollable Functional Materials"
- Gathering an excellent research team, full of motivated and bright minds that are willing to combine their strengths.
- Being granted the Academy of Finland Award for Scientific Courage in 2018, thanks to the excellent team!
- Winning the ERC Starting Grant in 2016, and the ERC Proof-of-Concept Grant in 2018.
- Taking the courage to live and work in Japan, which was an invaluable experience both professionally (thanks to Prof. Atsushi Shishido) and personally (thanks to the life-long friendships made).
- Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2009, by the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, made me feel that I did something right during my PhD work.
- Most importantly, raising two lovely and talented kids, who love me despite the fact that I work too much :)
Some good reads from the past few years
- C. Fedele, E. Mäntylä, B. Belardi, T. Hamkins-Indik, S. Cavalli, P.A. Netti, D.A. Fletcher, S. Nymark, A. Priimagi, T.O. Ihalainen, "Azobenzene-based sinusoidal surface topography drives focal adhesion confinement and guides collective migration of epith elial cells ", Scientific Reports 2020, 10, 15329.
- H. Shahsavan, A. Aghakhani, H. Zeng, Y Guo, Z.S. Davidson, A. Priimagi, M. Sitti, "Bioinspired underwater locomotion of light-driven liquid crystal gels ", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2020, 117, 5125.
- H. Zeng, H. Zhang, O. Ikkala, A. Priimagi, "Associative Learning by Classical Conditioning in Liquid Crystal Network Actuators ", Matter 2020, 2, 194.
- H. Zhang, H. Zeng, A. Priimagi, O. Ikkala, "Programmable responsive hydrogels inspired by classical conditioning algorithm", Nature Communications 2019, 10, 3267.
- A. Berdin, H. Rekola, O. Sakhno, M. Wegener, A. Priimagi, "Continuously tunable polymer membrane laser", Optics Express 2019, 27, 25634.
- O.M. Wani, R. Verpaalen, H. Zeng, A. Priimagi, A.P.H.J. Schenning, “An artificial nocturnal flower via humidity-gated photoactuation in liquid crystal networks“, Advanced Materials 2019, 31, 1805985.
- M. Lahikainen, H. Zeng, A. Priimagi, “Reconfigurable photoactuator through synergistic use of photochemical and photothermal effects“, Nature Communications 2018, 9, 4148.
- H. Zeng, P. Wasylczyk, D.S. Wiersma, A. Priimagi ”Light Robots: Bridging the Gap between Microrobotics and Photomechanics in Soft Materials”, Advanced Materials 2018, 30, 1703554.
- M. Poutanen, Z. Ahmed, L. Rautkari, O. Ikkala, A. Priimagi, “Thermal Isomerization of Hydroxyazobenzenes as a Platform for Vapor Sensing “. ACS Macro Letters 2018, 7, 381.
- J. Vapaavuori, C. G. Bazuin, A. Priimagi, "Supramolecular design principles for efficient photoresponsive polymer–azobenzene complexes", Journal of Materials Chemistry C 2018, 6, 2168.
- O.M. Wani, H. Zeng, A. Priimagi, ”A Light-Driven Artificial Flytrap”, Nature Communications 2017, 8, 15546.
- H. Zeng, O.M. Wani, P. Wasylczyk, R. Kaczmarek, A. Priimagi, ”Self-Regulating Iris Based on Light-Actuated Liquid Crystal Elastomer”, Advanced Materials 2017, 29, 1701814.