NSF Science and Technology Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CliPS)

Professors Benny Freeman, Donald Paul and Christopher Ellison are partners in the NSF-sponsored $23.2 million Science and Technology Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CliPS). UT Austin is partnering with the lead institution, Case Western University, along with Fisk University, the University of Southern Mississippi and the Naval Research Laboratory. The Center focuses on three research platforms: (1) Unique processing technology that enables fabrication of versatile hierarchical microlayered and nanolayered polymer-based structures and systems; (2) development of membrane and barrier systems that exploit the layered hierarchy to achieve unique transport properties; and (3) development of electro-optical devices with special properties based on the advanced layered materials. This work will result in radically new polymer-based systems with exceptional capabilities to: (1) process polymers into layers no thicker than the radius of gyration of individual polymer molecules by forced assembly; (2) combine these polymers with organic dyes, inorganic and hybrid organic/inorganic particles, and conductive/photoreactive materials that possess high levels of molecular recognition; and (3) organize the aggregate materials into nanoscale multi-layers to produce new functional devices by conventional technologies.