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University of Oregon

Polymer Characterization and Thermal Analysis Laboratory

The UO Polymer Characterization and Thermal Analysis Laboratory is equipped to determine the processing behavior and thermal and mechanical properties of polymeric materials and polymer based composites as well as polymer molecular weights, molecular weight distributions, and compositions. The laboratory is concerned with the characterization at both basic and applied levels. The goal typically is to understand and improve the processing and performance of these materials for various applications. For this reason the characterization is linked to the parameters that are related to the most desirable properties of the material such as modulus, strength, impermeability, toughness, thermal expansion, optical properties, viscosity and the like.
The laboratory has a dual role as a teaching lab and resource for the Department of Chemistry and The Materials Science Institute as well as a resource center for Industry under auspices of CAMCOR. The laboratory also is involved in research sponsored by both Government and Industry.

Location: KLA 179

Instrumentation available includes:

Research areas of interest

  • Polymer matrix nanocomposites with controlled anisotropy
  • Thermally stable advanced composite matrix resins
  • Optimizing processing technology for advanced composites
  • Ink jet printing of functionally graded nanocomposites
  • Liquid crystal network polymers
  • Radiation curing of reactive liquid crystal monomers
  • Modifying the morphology of the matrix and the interphase in advanced composites
  • Ligand exchange reactions for surface modification and stabilization of ceramic nanoparticles
  • Fracture mechanisms in toughened matrix resins
  • Synthesis and characterization of flame resistant polymers
  • Polymerization and polymer process modeling
  • Physical and mechanical aging phenomena in amorphous polymers
  • Photopolymer:synthesis, kinetics, and characterization for solid freeform fabrication
  • Rapid prototyping processes for forming advanced materials: thermostable polymers, polymer matrix nanocomposites, ceramics, ceramic matrix composites
  • Adaptive membranes


Dr. Richard Chartoff
Polymer Characterization and Thermal Analysis Facility