Dr.   Ali     Dhinojwala

Dr. Ali Dhinojwala

Interim Dean; H.A. Morton Professor
Department of Polymer Science
Phone: 330-972-6246
Email: ali4@uakron.edu

Dr. Dhinojwala's Research Group Website


Meet the Interim Dean

Dr. Ali Dhinojwala, H.A. Morton Professor of Polymer Science, has been a part of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE) for over twenty years, first serving as a professor and then as the Department Chair from 2008-2012. He has served as the co-Principal Investigator of the Biomimicry Research Innovation Center (BRIC) since its inception in 2011, and during his time at the University has helped to hire several faculty members who teach here still today. His participation in the College as well as his dedication to building a successful team of faculty and staff made him a perfect fit as interim dean.

“We are facing a challenging time as a University and as a College,” Dhinojwala said. “All of us must take an initiative to help CPSPE and UA overcome these challenges and build an environment that supports the dynamic research that takes place at CPSPE.”

Dhinojwala plans to strengthen the college by building on the momentum it has gained over the years. His vision for CPSPE includes ensuring that it continues to be a leader in polymer research, and emphasizing a team building approach in order to make the transition to a new dean as successful as possible.

Dr. Dhinojwala obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and spent two years as a research scientist at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After spending one year at GE Plastics, he joined The University of Akron in 1997. His current research is in the areas of adhesion, friction, and wetting. His group has developed unique surface technique to study buried polymer interfaces. His recent interest is in understanding how geckos and spiders use adhesives for locomotion and prey capture. These studies have led his team to develop synthetic adhesives using aligned carbon nanotubes. His latest passion is on developing structural colors, a strategy inspired by bird colors.


  • 1994 Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University
  • 1986 B.Tech., Chemical Eng., Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India

Research Interests

Spectroscopic techniques to study structure and dynamics at surfaces and interfaces; relationship between adhesion, adhesion hysterisis, and friction; structure and dynamics of molecules in confined geometry; surface melting and surface freezing; developing synthetic adhesives using aligned carbon nanotubes inspired by Gecko foothairs; electrical and optical applications of aligned carbon nanotubes.

Contact Information

Dr. Ali Dhinojwala
The University of Akron
Department of Polymer Science
Akron, Ohio 44325-3909

Email: ali4@uakron.edu
Voice: (330) 972-6246
Fax: (330) 972-5290

Recent Publications

  • Ocko, B.; Dhinojwala, A.; Dalliant, J. "Comment on How Water Meets an Hydrophobic Surface" Phys. Rev. Lett. 2008, 101, 039601.
  • Niewiarowski, P.; Lopez, S.; Ge, L.; Hagan, E.; Dhinojwala, A. "Sticky Gecko Feet-The Role of Temperature and Humidity" 2008, PLoS One, 3, e2192.
  • Prasad, S.; Jiang, Z.; Sinha, S.; Dhinojwala, A. "Partial Crystallinity in Alkyl Side Chain Polymers Dictates Surface Freezing" accepted for publication in Phys. Rev. Lett.
  • Sethi, S.; Ge, L.; Ci, L. Ajayan, P. M. ; Dhinojwala, A. "Gecko-Inspired Carbon Nanotube-Based Self-Cleaning Adhesives" Nano letters 2008, 8, 822-825.
  • Li, G; Prasad, S.; Dhinojwala, A. "Dynamic Interfacial Tension at the Oil/Surfactant-water Interface" Langmuir, 2007, 23, 9929-9932.
  • Ge, L.; Sethi, S.; Ci, L.; Ajayan, P.M.; Dhinojwala, A. "Carbon Nanotube-Based Synthetic Gecko Tapes" Proc Natl Acad Sci 2007, 104, 10792-10795.
  • Yurdumakan, B.; Nanjundiah, K.; Harp, G. P.; Dhinojwala, A. "Origin of Higher Friction for Elastomers Sliding on Glassy Polymers" J. Phys. Chem. C 2007, 111, 960-965.
  • Harp, G.P.; Rangwalla, H.; Yeganeh, M. S.; Dhinojwala, A. "Coupling of Interfacial Motion at Polystyrene-Alkane Interface" Macromolecules 2006, 39, 7464-7466.
  • Prasad, S, Hanne, L.; Dhinojwala, A. "Surface Segregation Induced by Surface Freezing" Macromolecules 2006, 39, 7467-7470.