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  Areas of research

We are currently working on the synthesis and physics of new multifunctional and structural polymers, which have potential applications in the nanotechnology, microelectronics, information technology, and biological and environmental systems. Every group member is always challenged to discover not only new multifunctional polymers but something new in polymer science field. Our current research subjects are summarized as follows.

Nano-structured polymers: A variety of nanoscaled structures is designed, fabricated from multifunctional and structural polymers, and characterized by means of synchrotron X-ray reflectivity and scattering (conventional and grazing-incidence X-ray scattering), neutron and light scattering, spectroscopic ellipsometry, atomic force microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopies, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, UV-Visible spectroscopy, thermal analysis, stress analysis, prism coupling, and other optical and electrical instruments. In addition, new techniques to characterize the nano-structured polymeric systems are developed.

Polymers for microelectronics and information technology: New polyimides, polyesters, epoxy resins, and polysilsesquioxanes are designed and synthesized, which have a low dielectric constant for the applications in the fabrication of microelectronic devices as a high performance interdielectric layer. These polymers are often modified further in chemical or physical ways by generating molecular and nanoscaled structural blends and composites. In addition, surface-active polymeric systems that respond to ultraviolet light and X-ray as well as other surface treatments, are developed for the applications in information and display technology. These dielectric and surface-active polymers are characterized to find the relationships between structure, properties and chemical structure.

Polymers for biomedical, and electrical sensor technology: Pi-conjugated polymers own very unique properties such as conductivity, light-emitting, electromagnetic field response, and chemical responses to some specific chemicals and ions. Their properties are highly dependent on the chemical structure and morphological structure. Currently we design and synthesize new high performance pi-conjugated polymers and nanocomposites, whose characteristics are investigated using four-probe conductivity analysis, cyclovoltammetry, electromagnetic response analysis, and light luminescent analysis.

Polymers for biological and environmental purposes: New biocompatible biopolymers are designed and synthesized using polypeptides, lipids, fatty acids, polyurethanes, polyethers, polyesters, and their hybrids. Environmentally-friendly polycarbonates and their copolymers are also synthesized from carbon dioxide and comonomers, while their new polymerization methodology is invented. Biological properties and biocompatibility, as well as structure and basic properties are investigated in detail. In addition, the interfacial characteristics of these polymers to various bioorganisms are studied. These materials have many potential applications including drug delivery, vaccine adjuvants, biomedical prosthetic device materials, and the inhibitors for microbial adhesion and growth.

Polymer Synthesis and Fabrication:

  • Nanostructured Polymers
  • Ultralow-k dielectric polymers
  • High temperature polymers
  • Brush polymers
  • Photosensitive polymers
  • Light-Emitting polymers
  • Radar and microwave absorbing polymers
  • Polymers to protect metal corrosions
  • Structural polymers
  • Polymer blends
  • Molecular and nano polymer composites
  • Polymer gels and polyelectrolytes
  • Polypeptides
  • Biological polymers
  • Biodegradable and hydrolyzable polymers

Polymer Physics:

  • Scattering and reflectivity from polymers: X-ray and neutron
  • Polymer chain structures
  • Polymer nanostructures
  • Polymer surfaces and interfaces
  • Polymer morphology
  • Polymers properties: optical, electrical, thermal and others
  • Nonvolatile polymer memory semiconductor science
  • Biological structures of macromolecules in solution
  • Polymer / biological organism interfaces
  • Biomedical, environmental, and chemical sensor science

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