The goal of this research is to design, prepare, and characterize polymers containing novel functional groups, with which one can fashion thin film micro-optical or bio-active devices. Relating the properties and performance of these structures and simple devices to the structure of the polymer can afford insight into the molecular origins of the optical and mechanical behaviour of polymer surfaces, interfaces, and thin films. By examining these structure/property relationships, one can also tailor the polymers to optimize the performance of a given device, with the eventual goal of rational design.

This research program employs classical methods of polymer synthesis, characterization, and thin film fabrication, as well as more specialized techniques of laser optics and surface analysis. The aim is for students to emerge with a solid background in polymer and physical chemistry, and to gain exposure to interdisciplinary problem solving techniques which lie at the interface between Chemistry, Physics, and Materials Engineering. In all projects, an emphasis is placed on developing the ability to communicate research results effectively, through the preparation of conference presentations and journal articles.