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photo by: Jeff Watts

Douglas Fox

Associate Professor Department of Chemistry

Additional Positions at AU

  • Affiliated with Department of Environmental Science
Douglas M. Fox received his BS in Chemical Engineering and his PhD in Chemistry at Michigan Technological University, in Houghton, MI. He spent two years at the Naval Research Laboratory and two years at the U.S. Naval Academy investigating the physical and thermal properties of room temperature ionic liquids and polymer nanocomposites. His research and teaching focus is on “green chemistry”, environmental solutions, and the use of natural materials. His current projects utilize carbohydrates to improve the flammability, water resistance, and strength of materials.


B.S. Chemical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 1995 Ph.D. Chemistry, Michigan Technological University, 2001

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Contact Info
(202) 885-1735

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See Also
Chemistry Department
Fox Research Page
Biomaterials Design Lab

Partnerships & Affiliations


  • Fall 2017

    • GNED-250 General Education Area 5 Topic: The Food Water Energy Nexus
    • Description

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Dr. Fox's group focuses on measuring physical, chemical, and thermal properties of alternative (or "green") solutions and polymer nanocomposites.  The three main current projects are polymer nanocomposites using additives prepared from natural materials, green solvents and their solutions, and kinetics of metathesis reactions.  The majority of work is conducted on the AU campus; however, some measurements must be acquired in collaboration with groups at the NIST in nearby Gaithersburg, MD.

Selected Publications

  • D. M. Fox, R. S. Rodriguez, M. Devilbiss, J. Woodcock, C. S. Davis, R. Sinko, S. Keten, and J. W. Gilman, , “Simultaneously Tailoring Surface Energies and Thermal Stabilities of Cellulose Nanocrystals Using Ion Exchange: Effects on Polymer Composite Properties for Transportation, Infrastructure, and Renewable Energy Applications,” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2016, 8, 27270-27281.  
  • D. M. Fox, M. Novy, K. Brown, M. Zammarano, R. H. Harris Jr., M. Murariu, E. McCarthy, J. Seppala, and J. W. Gilman, “Flame Retarded Poly(lactic acid) Using POSS-Modified Cellulose. 2. Effects of Intumescing Flame Retardant Formulations on Polymer Degradation and Composite Physical Properties,” Polym. Degrad. Stab., 2014, 106, 54-62.
  • D. M. Fox, J. Lee, C. J. Citro, and M. Novy, “Flame Retarded Poly(lactic acid) Using POSS-Modified Cellulose. 1. Thermal and Combustion Properties of Intumescing Composites,” Polym. Degrad. Stab., 2013, 98, 590-596.
  • D. M. Fox, J. Lee, M. Zammarano, D. Katsoulis, D. V. Eldred, L. Haverhals, P. C. Trulove, H. C. De Long, and J. W. Gilman, “Char – Forming Behavior of Nanofibrillated Cellulose Treated with Glycidyl Phenyl POSS,” Carbohydr. Polym., 2012, 88, 847-858.
  • M. Zammarano, P. Maupin, L.-P. Sung, J. Gilman, E. McCarthy, Y. Kim, and D. M. Fox, “Revealing the Interface in Polymer Nanocomposites,” ACS Nano, 2011, 5, 3391-3399.

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • 2016, "Fluorescent Cellulose Nanomaterial Development Project" P3Nano (USDA)
  • 2016, "Chitosan Depolymeriztion Using a New Chemical Method," AU-CAS 
  • 2014, "Durable, Intumescent Flame-Retardant Coatings Derived from Natural Materials", NIST – EL Extramural Fire Research Grants Program, 3-yr project.

Work In Progress

  • "Durable Flame Retardant Coatings Using Natural Materials.”
  • "Ion Exchange Equilibria and Kinetics of Lignocellulosic Materials."  
  • “Surface Modification of Cellulose Nanomaterials.”      
  • "Liquid and Solvent Properties of the Mixtures Containing Ethyl Lactate."  
  • “Electrochemical Response of a Protein Based Electrode Using Bovine Serum Albumin Encapsulated Gold.”
  • "Polymer-Clay Beads for Wastewater Treatment"

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