Our group is a leader in the creation of materials for use in advanced membrane, sorbent and barrier applications. The unifying theme in all of these topics is the understanding of thermodynamic partitioning and kinetic diffusion and related transport phenomena. We generally have a polymer component to all of the work in the group; however, the detailed materials can vary greatly, depending upon the ultimate end use that is envisioned. Highly rigid glassy materials and hybrid inorganic-polymer materials are often considered in our work, since they offer diverse properties that can be engineered. Moreover, pyrolysis of selected polymers to form glassy carbons are increasingly being studied in our group due to the special molecular sieving capabilities of these special materials.
Especially in the basic discovery phase to select materials for further development to solve problems, our work relies upon homogeneous flat films for sorption and steady state permeation studies. Besides conventional instrumental analysis, interpretation of the pressure, temperature and compositional dependence of sorption, diffusion and permeation is used as a probe to understand the nanoscopic and microscopic structures of the materials that we create.