Polymer films have a wide range of applications from medical implants to sensors and devices.
In his IMSE seminar, Professor Alamgir Karim from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston, discussed the numerous applications of polymer films for functional materials.
Applications in industry and medicine
Polymer films have numerous industrial and medical applications, from protective and functional coatings, non-fouling biosurfaces, and even the biocompatibility of medical implants.
Applications of imprinting nanostructures include optical devices and ice-phobic coatings which could be used in domestic fridges. Professor Alamgir Khan Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston
At the University of Houston, Professor Karim's polymer nanotechnology research group investigates fundamental research in biopolymers, polymer blends, polymer brushes, polymer nanocomposites and block copolymers. In his seminar Professor Karim explained several applications; including anisotropic polymer nanocomposites to membranes for oil/water separation and for nanopatterning polymer thin films for functional ice-phobic surfaces - which have applications in domestic fridges.
The thin polymer films can even be self-assembling - and are fabricated by simple methods such as dip-coating, spin-coating, casting and droplet evaporation.
Alamgir Karim obtained his Ph.D. in Physics from Northwestern University in Illinois in 1992. After which he did a post-doc in Chemical Engineering at University of Minnesota in1993, before joining NIST in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He was Group Leader of Polymer Blends, Combinatorial Methods and Nanomaterials Group at NIST. By 2009, he had become Goodyear Chair Professor of Polymer Engineering, and Co-Director, Akron Functional Materials Center at University of Akron, and was Associate Dean of Research and Institute Director.
His areas of interest and research include polymer thin films, surfaces and interfaces. Polymer systems of interest include nanoparticle polymer systems, patterning polymer films, polymer blends phase separation, polymer thin film nanocomposites, elastomers based systems, block copolymers thin film ordering, as well as polymer thin films and processing methods for functional applications. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) as well as Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and recipient of Keck Foundation Award. He is presently Dow Chair Professor, and Director of Materials Science and Engineering Program and Director of Polymer and Soft Matter Center at University of Houston.
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