Director: Brian Benicewicz, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Center Home Page: http://www.rpi.edu/polymers
Dedicated in 1998, the New York State Center for Polymer Synthesis provides bridges for companies to work with Rensselaer faculty and students in designing, producing, and testing novel polymers than can change the way people live and work. Many high-technology industries remain materials limited, meaning that significant improvements in technology could be made if new, structurally tailored polymers with specific, predictable properties were prepared. Often, the creation of new polymers spawns entirely new industries. Thus, the center is committed to working with companies on their polymer-related problems. An extensive foundation in polymer science and special expertise in polymer synthesis has made the center highly successful in these endeavors.
To facilitate its research projects, the center houses advanced technology for the discovery, scale-up, processing, and evaluation of unique polymers. The Center’s focus is threefold: groundbreaking research, corporate and government partnerships, and undergraduate and graduate research.
Current research under way at the center includes work on protein design and synthesis, studies of protein folding and its effect on diseases, using enzymes for polymer synthesis, block copolymers, inorganic polymers, controlled free radical polymerizations, preparing polymer membranes for fuel cells, and creating polymer nanocomposites. Award-winning research that involves turning waste cellulose from paper mills into the raw materials that go into new plastics has also been conducted at the center. In addition, it is also the site of world-renowned and pioneering work on photo-initiated polymerizations and their applications in photoresists and adhesive curing.
Chemical Engineering: G. Belfort, S. Cramer, J. Dordick, S. Garde, R. Kane, S. Kumar, B. Nauman
Chemistry and Chemical Biology: Y. Akpalu, B. Benicewicz, W. Colon, J. Crivello, L.V. Interrante, J. Moore, C. Ryu
Materials Science and Engineering: P.M. Ajayan, R. Ozisik, L. Schadler, S. Sternstein