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David S Bergsman

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Assistant Professor
Chemical Engineering


  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 2018
  • M.S. in Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 2014
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, 2012

Previous appointments

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2018–2020

Research Statement

Rising population and global economic growth has led to an increased demand for technologies that address water scarcity or enable the use of intermittent energy sources. Many proposed innovations in areas that could mitigate these issues (e.g. membrane separations, energy storage and conversion) will require the ability to create nanomaterials with unprecedented structural and compositional control. The future development of these technologies will require both an increased understanding of the behavior of molecules in these technologies and novel tools that can rapidly produce previously unsynthesizable materials.

In the Bergsman Research Group, we enable the use of new technologies in the water-energy nexus by using atomic layer processing tools, which can be used to create previously unrealized nanomaterials in membrane separations and catalytic energy conversion that demand precise interfacial control. We also use advanced characterization methods and high-throughput synthesis to quickly screen promising materials candidates and answer fundamental questions about the thermodynamics, kinetics, and transport behavior in these systems.

Select publications

  1. David S. Bergsman, Bezawit A. Getachew, Christ B. Cooper, Jeffrey C. Grossman. “Preserving nanoscale features in polymers during laser induced graphene formation using sequential infiltration synthesis.” Nat. Commun. (2020), 11, 3636. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17259-5
  2. David S. Bergsman, Jon G. Baker, Richard G. Closser, Callisto MacIsaac, Mie Lillethorup, Alaina Strickler, Laurent Azarno, Ludovic Godet, Stacey F. Bent. "Manganese Alkoxide Films Grown by Hybrid Atomic/Molecular Layer Deposition for Electrochemical Applications." Adv. Funct. Mater. (2019) 1904129, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201904129
  3. Richard G. Closser, Mie Lillethorup, David S. Bergsman, Stacey F. Bent. “Growth of a Surface-Tethered, All-Carbon Backboned Fluoropolymer by Photoactivated Molecular Layer Deposition.” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces., 11 (2019) 21988, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b03462
  4. David S. Bergsman, Richard Closser, Stacey F. Bent. "Mechanistic Studies of Chain Termination and Monomer Absorption in Molecular Layer Deposition" Chem. Mater., 30 (2018) 5087, DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.8b01468
  5. David S. Bergsman, Richard G. Closser, Christopher J. Tassone, Bruce M. Clemens, Denis Nordlund, Stacey F. Bent. "Effect of Backbone Chemistry on the Structure of Polyurea Films Deposited by Molecular Layer Deposition," Chem. Mater., 29 (2017), 1192. DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b04530