Ober receives American Chemical Society Award in Applied Polymer Science
By Bill Steele
Christopher K. Ober, the Francis Norwood Bard Professor of Materials Engineering at Cornell, has been named the winner of the 2006 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Applied Polymer Science. The award honors him for "his extraordinary ability to craft unique polymer architectures having practical applications in solving timely and important environmental, microelectronic and biological problems."
The award consists of $5,000 and a certificate. It will be presented at the ACS annual meeting March 26-30 in Atlanta. An all-day symposium in Ober's honor will be held March 28, with Ober as the last presenter.
Ober heads a varied group of two dozen researchers whose work ranges from polymers for use in microelectronics to biodegradable materials to self-organizing polymers that spontaneously form themselves into layers and other structures.
In recent work, he has developed water-developable fluoropolymer resists for a new generation of photolithographic tools that can be patterned to form features as small as 100 nanometers, and nontoxic fluorine-based materials that can be used as coatings that resist biofouling in marine environments. He has pioneered the use of supercritical carbon dioxide as an environmentally friendly lithographic developer that overcomes the problems of poor solubility of fluoropolymers and pattern collapse in aqueous developers.
Ober also has developed "reworkable" epoxy-based thermoset composites that are being developed commercially as adhesives for microchips, so that defective parts can be reprocessed. The materials are expected to find applications in the computer and telecommunications industries.
Ober received his B.Sc. degree in chemistry from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, in 1978 and his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1982. Before joining Cornell in 1986, he was a senior researcher at Xerox Research Centre of Canada in Mississauga, Ontario.