Vol. 30 No. 5
Advanced Materials and Polymer Characterization
by Michael Hess
The POLYCHAR 16: World Forum on Advanced Materials, organized by the University of Lucknow, was held from 17 to 21 February 2008 in the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The short course on polymer characterization, a tutorial, was held on 14 February , hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, India.
Jiasong He (left) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, winner of the Paul J. Flory Research Prize, shakes hands with Rameshvar Adhikari of the Tribhuvan University, Katmandu, Nepal, who was the winner of the International Materials Science Prize.
The events were excellently managed by the local organization committee, headed by Chairman R.P. Singh (former vice chancellor of the University of Lucknow) and assisted by Vice Chairman V.S. Parmar (Delhi University), Executive Secretary-cum-Treasurer P. Tandon (Lucknow University), Secretaries A.K. Gosh (IIT, Delhi) and V. Kumar (CIEPT, Lucknow), and the coordinator of the short course, V. Choudhary (IIT, Delhi). Both events enjoyed the patronage of D. Pental (Delhi University), A.S. Brar (presently vice chancellor at the University of Lucknow), S.K. Dube (IIT Kharagpur), and S. Prasad (IIT, Kharagpur). The venue for the conference was kindly given by the World Unity Convention Centre in Lucknow, through its chairman, J. Gandhi.
The annual POLYCHAR conferences have been sponsored by IUPAC for several years and are known for combining the broad field of materials sciences with a clear focus on polymeric materials (the name “POLYCHAR” is derived from the term “polymer characterization”). The short course is an educational project of the IUPAC Polymer Division (project # 2007-027-1-400).
The conference was divided into the following nonparallel sessions. The chairperson for each session is shown in parentheses.
- Nanomaterials and Smart Materials I (A.P. Karitonov)
- Natural and Biodegradable Materials and Recycling (D. Berek)
- Materials Synthesis and Characterization (G. Michler)
- Polymers for Energy (J.-M. Saiter)
- Rheology, Solutions, and Processing I (H.W. Siesler)
- Mechanical Properties and Performance (G. Boiteux)
- Rheology, Solutions, and Processing II (A. Pomogradow)
- Characterization and Structure-Properties Relationships I (E.S. Raja Gopal)
- Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (Y. Chujo)
- Dielectric and Electrical Properties (E.F. Lucas)
- Nanomaterials and Smart Materials II (J. He)
- Characterization and Structure-Properties Relationships II (S.N. Chvalun)
- Synthesis and Characterization I (M. Hess)
- Surfaces, Interfaces, and Tribology (W. Brostow)
- Synthesis and Characterization II (M. Bratychak)
- Predictive Methods (H.-W. Bewersdorff)
At the conference, 292 participants from 35 countries and 4 continents gave 296 presentations , including 28 special and 15 invited lectures and 48 other oral presentations. (A full list of the outstanding oral and poster contributions from universities, research institutes, and industry can be found at <www.unt.edu/POLYCHAR/preview16.htm>.) Many students attended the presentations, highlighting the conference’s goal of attracting young scientists and advanced and graduate students and giving them the opportunity to meet with colleagues and well-known scientists to exchange experiences, make contacts, and present their results to the scientific community. In addition, many student presentations were found in the two poster sessions.
The conference is also the platform for the esteemed Paul J. Flory Research Award, given this year to Jiasong He from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing for his work on polymer blends and composites—in particular, on hybrid materials from polymer liquid crystals and nanoscopic fillers.
The International Materials Science Prize, introduced in 2007, was given to Rameshwar Adhikari from Tribhuvan University in Katmandu, Nepal, for his work in the field of blockcopolymers and his work establishing polymer science and education in Nepal.
In addition, the following students were given IUPAC Student Poster Awards:
- Pooja Chhabra, Centre for Polymer Research and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India, for his work on the “Effect of Structure on the Thermal Behavior of Polyamides”
- R. Dhanya, Department of Polymer Science and Rubber Technology, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin, for the poster entitled “Photophysical and Electrochemical Investigation on Photoconducting Polymers”
- Dewyani Patil, Department of Physics North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon, India, for the poster presentation “Organic/Inorganic Hybrid of Poly(o-anisidene) and SiO2”
The special “Prof. Brar 60th Birthday Celebration Award” was given to the IUPAC awardees and to D. Vrsaljko, who also received one of the Student Diplomas (see below).
Additional prizes awarded at the conference included:
- Bruce Hartmann Award for Young Scientists, given to Archana Bhaw-Luximon, Department of Chemistry, University of Mauritius, Mauritius, for her contribution “Oligosaccharose-grafted Polymers, Synthesis and Characterization”
- Jürgen Springer Award for Young Scientists, given to Arote Rohidas, School of Agricultural Biotechnology of the Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, for his studies on “Novel Biodegradable and Branched Polyesteramines”
- Carl Klason Prize for the Best Student Paper, given to Victor Hugo Orozco, Grupo Ciencia de los Materials, Instituto de Quimica, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia, for his oral contribution entitled “Preparation and Characterization of Polyl(actic acid-maleic acid-starch) Copolymers”
- Diplomas of Distinction for Student Oral Presentations, given to (1) Jacob Samuel, Department of Chemistry, Kuwait University, Kuwait, for his oral contribution entitled: “Microporous Networks Based on Cobalt Phthalocyanines”; (2) Domago Vrsjalko, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, University of Zagreb, Croatia, for his talk “Effect of Filler Surface Modification on Properties of Filled Polyurethane/Polyvinylacetate Blends”; and (3) L. Barbora, Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guvahati, India, for an oral presentation on “Composite Polymer Electrolyte Membrane for Direct Ethanol Fuel Cell”
- Diploma of Distinction for a Student Poster Presentation, given to Dustin England, School of Engineering Technology of the Eastern Michigan University, with the title “Reversibly Porating Materials and Coatings”
Main building at the University of Lucknow.
Short Course on Polymer Characterization
The Short Course on Polymer Characterization has been an integral part of the conference from the very beginning and is organized before the conference begins. The idea of the course is to provide basic information on polymer characterization for students and newcomers to the field and to have well-known specialists share popular characterization techniques in a condensed format.
Attending the short course provided an excellent preparation for the conference and allowed the course’s 40 participants to follow the subsequent sessions more easily. Even better, the lecturers stayed for the duration of the conference and were available to answer participants’ questions throughout the week. In addition, reference materials were provided free of charge to all participants.
The subjects addressed were:
- Infrared Spectroscopy in Polymer Science (H.-W. Siesler, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany)
- Liquid Chromatography of Synthetic Polymers (D. Berek, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia)
- Dynamic–Mechanical Properties of Polymers (M. Hess, University Siegen, Siegen, Germany)
- Light-, Neutron-, and X-Ray Scattering by Polymer Systems (J.-M. Guenet, Institute Charles Sadron, Strasbourg, France)
- Glass Transition in Glassy Polymers and Other Disordered Materials (J.-M. Saiter, University of Rouen, Rouen, France)
Electron Microscopy of Polymers (G. Michler, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany)
- Tribology of Polymer-Based Materials (W. Brostow, University of North Texas, Denton, United States)
- Hyper-DSC in Materials Characterization (P.S. Jain, Perkin-Elmer India)
In addition to the conference sessions, the awards, and the short course, many fruitful discussions were held during the breaks between sessions and the excursion. The conference truly brought together theorists, individuals from the fields of modelling, synthetic chemistry, and processing, students and newcomers to the field, and some of the most distinguished researchers in polymer science.
Future POLYCHAR conferences are already being planned:
- POLYCHAR-17, Rouen, France, April 2009; contact:
- POLYCHAR-18, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2010
- POLYCHAR-19, Cairo, Egypt, 2011
Michael Hess is a professor at the Department of Macromolecular Chemistry at the University Siegen, in Siegen, Germany. He is secretary of the IUPAC Polymer Division and a member of the subcommittee on polymer terminology, subcommittee on polymer education, and subcommittee on developing polymer materials.
last modified 22 September 2008.
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