Dr. Pinar Akcora conducts fundamental research in the development of nanotechnology-based polymers with various properties. The particle chains she is developing as part of her National Science Foundation CAREER Award have demonstrated three significant properties. They have multi-functional assembly, are conductive and therefore potentially magnetic, and they are mechanically strong. With this set of characteristics, the materials are resistant to wear, can be employed in rough conditions such as the coating on a car or airplane, and can be used in electrical membranes or sensors. Dr. Akcora is co-author of a paper that appeared in Nature Materials in which her research team studied the self-assembly properties of nanoparticles.

Dr. Akcora's research interests include synthesis and characterization of polymeric nanohybrids; ordered soft materials, mechanical and structural relationships of ordered-disordered systems, developing new strategies for the self-assembly of nanoparticles, self-healing membranes for robust mechanical applications, multifunctional polymer composites with electrical and mechanical properties, and bioengineered magnetic nanoparticles for drug delivery applications. She is a member of the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, Materials Research Society, and the New York Academy of Sciences. In addition to her CAREER Award, she is the recipient of the University of Missouri Research Board Award in 2009.