Biography:Amalie Frischknecht

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Amalie L. Frischknecht is an American theoretical polymer physicist at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) in 2012 for "her outstanding contributions to the theory of ionomers and nanocomposites including the development and application of density functional theory to polymers".[1] Her research focuses on understanding the structure, phase behavior, and self-assembly of polymer systems, such as complex fluids polymer nanocomposites, lipid bilayer assemblies, and ionomers.[2]


Frischknecht graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California, with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in physics and mathematics in 1992. Later she received a PhD degree in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. The title of her 1992 doctoral thesis is "Stability of domains in phase-separating binary fluids in shear flow,"[3][4] and her PhD advisor was James S. Langer, who is currently a Professor Emeritus of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Career and research

Frischknecht went to work at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co. as a postdoctoral fellow. She stayed there from 1998 until 2000 and worked on polymer rheology with Scott Milner, who is now a professor of physics at Pennsylvania State University. They investigated the dynamics of polymer melts made star-shaped polymers,[5] which are a branched polymer in which several chains are linked together via a central core. They also studied diffusion of linear polymers.[6]

In 2000, Frischknecht moved to Sandia National Laboratories, working first as a postdoctoral fellow and then becoming a permanent member of staff. To understand the behavior of polymers, she relies mostly on molecular modeling techniques like density functional theory and molecular dynamics simulations. Notable works include simulations of ionic polymers (polymers that contain ions that are chemically bound to their structure) to find their structures that they form.[7][8][9] She has also studied the rheology of polymer-nanoparticle blends, finding that when the blend is placed on a substrate a first-order phase transition occurs that expels the polymer from the surface, causing the particles to form a monolayer.[10]


Frischknecht serves as the Chair-Elect of the Division of Polymer Physics (DPOLY) at the American Physical Society (APS), a position that runs from 2019 to 2020.[11] She previously served as a member at large for DPOLY from 2013-2015.[12] She chaired the 2018 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Polymer Physics titled "New Developments in Hierarchical Structure and Dynamics of Polymers."[13] The theme of the conference was new experimental, simulation, and theoretical developments in polymer physics.


  1. "APS Fellow Archive". 
  2. "Amalie L. Frischknecht - Google Scholar Citations". 
  3. Frischknecht, A. L. (1998). Stability of domains in phase-separating binary fluids in shear flow (Order No. 9921572). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (304419882). Retrieved from
  4. Frischknecht, Amalie L. (1998). "Stability of domains in phase-separating binary fluids in shear flow". Ph.D. Thesis: 1134. Bibcode1998PhDT........82F. 
  5. Frischknecht, Amalie L.; Milner, Scott T. (December 2000). "Self-Diffusion with Dynamic Dilution in Star Polymer Melts". Macromolecules 33 (26): 9764–9768. doi:10.1021/ma000918a. ISSN 0024-9297. 
  6. Frischknecht, Amalie L.; Milner, Scott T. (July 2000). "Diffusion with Contour Length Fluctuations in Linear Polymer Melts". Macromolecules 33 (14): 5273–5277. doi:10.1021/ma992123d. ISSN 0024-9297. 
  7. Hall, Lisa M.; Seitz, Michelle E.; Winey, Karen I.; Opper, Kathleen L.; Wagener, Kenneth B.; Stevens, Mark J.; Frischknecht, Amalie L. (2012-01-11). "Ionic Aggregate Structure in Ionomer Melts: Effect of Molecular Architecture on Aggregates and the Ionomer Peak". Journal of the American Chemical Society 134 (1): 574–587. doi:10.1021/ja209142b. ISSN 0002-7863. 
  8. Hall, Lisa M.; Stevens, Mark J.; Frischknecht, Amalie L. (2011-03-23). "Effect of Polymer Architecture and Ionic Aggregation on the Scattering Peak in Model Ionomers". Physical Review Letters 106 (12). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.127801. ISSN 0031-9007. 
  9. Bolintineanu, Dan S.; Stevens, Mark J.; Frischknecht, Amalie L. (2013-07-09). "Influence of Cation Type on Ionic Aggregates in Precise Ionomers". Macromolecules 46 (13): 5381–5392. doi:10.1021/ma400848m. ISSN 0024-9297. 
  10. McGarrity, E. S.; Frischknecht, A. L.; Frink, L. J. D.; Mackay, M. E. (2007-12-07). "Surface-Induced First-Order Transition in Athermal Polymer-Nanoparticle Blends". Physical Review Letters 99 (23). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.238302. ISSN 0031-9007. 
  11. "Executive Committee". 
  12. "Past Executive Committees". 
  13. "2018 Polymer Physics Conference GRC". 

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