Professor and Chair Robert M. Briber
- Polymer physics and phase transitions in polymer systems
- Polymer morphology and structure
- Chain conformation and shape of synthetic and bio- polymers
- Neutron and X-ray scattering characterization of materials
- Transmission electron microscopy of polymers
Synthesis and Characterization of Structured Hydrogels
Charged polymers (polyelectrolytes) and surfactant systems can have strong associations due to coulombic interactions and have been shown to form complex structures. We are extending these systems to hydrogels, where the polymer is crosslinked in the presence of an ordered surfactant system to form a structured hydrogel.
Data Analysis and Modeling of Off Specular Neutron Reflectivity
Specular neutron reflectivity is a powerful characterization tool for studying the structure of thin films in the film normal direction. Off specular reflectivity has the potential to extend the analysis to structure in the x-y plane of the film, but has been hampered by lack of suitable data analysis and modeling tools. We are working the NIST Center for Neutron Research to develop such tools and establish principles for analyzing such data using model systems.
Synthesis and Characterization of Nanocomposites with Improved Flammability
Polymer nanocomposites formed from layered silicates have been shown to have improved mechanical properties silicate is distributed in an exfoliated or intercalated morphology. We are working with collaborators in both the Fire Protection Engineering Department at the University of Maryland and the Fire Research Division at NIST to synthesis and characterize polymer nanocomposites with improved flammability.
Structure of Nanoporous Low K Dielectric Materials
We are working with IBM on the characterization of nanoporous films of spin on glass materials where the nanoporosity is formed by mixing the spin-on glass with a polymer prior to cure. During the high temperature cure of the spin-on glass the polymer degrades resulting in a nanoporous morphology to the thin film.
Folding of RNA
RNAs perform many biological functions by folding into specific three-dimensional structures. Understanding how RNAs fold is crucial for understanding the assembly of RNA-protein complexes such as the ribosome, the regulation of gene expression by RNA, and the engineering of RNA sensors and "riboswitches". In the presence of counterions, RNAs collapse into compact intermediates, which subsequently fold into the native tertiary structure. We are addressing these questions using X-ray and neutron scattering to address the structure, kinetics and dynamics of the RNA folding process.
Professor Briber teaches a range of classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level. At the undergraduate level he has taught:
ENES 100: Introduction to Engineering Design
This course is a project design course for first year engineering students. Students work in teams and build a complex project that encompasses many different fields of engineering.
ENMA 150: Materials of Civilization
The basic structure and properties of materials at an introductory level are presented and connections are drawn to show how many of the major advances in throughout history have been preceded by advances in materials. This is a University of Maryland Marquee Science and Technology Course designed for non-science majors. See www.marqueecourses.umd.edu.
ENMA 300: Introduction to Materials and Their Applications
The structure of materials, chemical composition, phase transformations, corrosion and mechanical properties of metals, ceramics, polymers and related materials. Electrical, thermal, magnetic and optical properties of materials. Materials selection in engineering applications.
ENMA 423: Manufacturing with Polymers
This course introduces students to the broad spectrum of issues associated with the use, manufacturing and processing of polymers, which includes addressing issues of blending of materials, design and production of a polymer formulation and the characterization of material properties. The participants of the course will be organized into teams to work for a semester on an open ended design problem of producing and characterizing a polymer formulation for advanced materials use.
ENMA 620: Polymer Physics (MSE Graduate Program core course)
The thermodynamics, structure, morphology and properties of polymers. Developing an understanding of the relationships between theory and observed behavior in polymeric materials.
ENMA 661: Kinetics of Reactions in Materials (MSE Graduate Program core course)
The theory of thermally activated processes in solids as applied to diffusion, nucleation and interface motion. Cooperative and diffusionless transformations. Applications selected from processes such as allotropic transformations, precipitation, martensite formation, solidification, ordering, and corrosion.
- American Physical Society, Fellow (elected 1995)
- Department of Commerce Bronze Medal, December 1990
- Electron Microscope Society of America Presidential Student Scholarship, 1982
- Editor, Journal of Polymer Science—Polymer Physics Edition (1/99-01/07)
Sangcheol Kim, R.M. Briber, Alamgir Karim, Ronald L. Jones, and Ho-Cheol Kim; "Environment-Controlled Spin Coating to Orient Microdomains in Thin Block Copolymer Films", accepted in Macromolecules, 4/2007
P. Akcora, R.M. Briber, P. Kofinas; "TEM characterization of diblock copolymer templated iron oxide nanoparticles: Bulk solution and thin film surface doping approach"; Polymer, 47(6), 2018-2022 (2006)
S.I. Yun, R.M. Briber, R.A. Kee, M. Gauthier; "Dilute-solution structure of charged arborescent graft polymer", Polymer, 47(8), 2750-2759 (2006)
T. Magbitang, V.Y. Lee, R.D. Miller, M.F. Toney, Z.L. Lin, R.M. Briber, H.C. Kim, J.L. Hedrick; "Templating organosilicate vitrification using unimolecular self-organizing polymers: Evolution of morphology and nanoporosity development with network formation", Advanced Materials, 17(8), 1031-1035, (2005)
P. Akcora, X. Zhang, B. Varughese, R.M. Briber, P. Kofinas; "Structural and Magnetic Characterization of Norbornene-Deuterated Norbornene Dicarboxylic Acid Diblock Copolymers Doped with Iron Oxide Nanoparticles, Polymer, 46(14), 5194-5201 (2005)
G. Caliskan, C. Hyeon, U. Perez-Salas, R.M. Briber, S.A. Woodson and D. Thirumalai; "Persistence Length Changes Dramatically as RNA Folds", Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 268303 (2005)
S. Chauhan, G. Caliskan, Robert M. Briber, U. Perez-Salas, P. Rangan, D. Thirumalai and S.A. Woodson; "RNA Tertiary Interactions Mediate Native Collapse of a Bacterial Group I Ribozyme", J. of Molecular Biology, 353(5), 1199-1209 (2005)
G. Caliskan, R.M. Briber, D. Thirumalai, V. Garcia-Sakai, S.A. Woodson, A.P. Sokolov, "Dynamic Transition in tRNA is Solvent Induced", JACS Communications, 128, 32-33, (2006)
P. Lazzeri, L. Vanzetti, M. Anderle, M. Bersani, J.J. Park, Z. Lin, R.M. Briber, G.W. Rubloff, H.C. Kim, R.D. Miller, "Thin-Film Transformations and Volatile Products in the Formation of Nanoporous Low-k Polymethylsilsesquioxane-Based Dielectric", J. of Vac. Sci. and Tech. B, 23(3),908-917(2005)
T. Kashiwagi, R.H. Harris Jr., X. Zhang, R.M. Briber, B.H. Cipriano, S.R. Raghavan, W.H. Awada, J.R. Shields, "Flame retardant mechanism of polyamide 6–clay nanocomposites", Polymer 45, 881–891 (2004)
P. Lazzeri, G.W. Rubloff, L. Vanzetti, R.M. Briber, M. Anderle, M. Bersani, J.J. Park, H.-C. Kim, W. Volksen, R.D. Miller, Z. Lin, "ToF-SIMS Studies of Nanoporous PMSSQ Materials: Kinetics and Reactions in the Processing of Low-K Dielectrics for ULSI Applications", Surface and Interface Analysis, 36(4), 304-310 (2004)
M. K. McDermott, LeRoy W. Schroeder, Shay L. Balsis, N. A. Paradiso, M. L. Byrne, R. M. Briber; "Mechanical Properties of Polyurethane Film Exposed to Solutions of Nonoxynol-9 Surfactant and Poly(ethylene glycol)", J. of Applied Polymer Science, 91(2), 1086-1096 (2004)
U.A. Perez-Salas, P. Rangan, S. Krueger, R. M. Briber, D. Thirumalai, S.A. Woodson, "Compaction of a Bacterial Group I Ribozyme Coincides with the Assembly of Core Helices", Biochemistry, 43, 1746–1753 (2004)
G. Voge, K. Fosser, and D. Waldow, R.M. Briber, A. Halasa, "Effect of Random and Block Copolymer Additives on a Homopolymer Blend Studied by Small Angle Neutron Scattering", J. of Polymer Science–Polymer Physics Edition, 42(17), 3191-3203, (2004)
H.-C. Kim, W. Volksen, R. D. Miller, E. Huang, G. Yang, R. M. Briber, K. Shin, S. K. Satija, "Neutron Reflectivity on Nanoporous Poly(methylsilsesquioxane) Thin Films" Chemistry of Materials 15(3), 609(2003)
M.P. Nieh, S. Kumar, D. L. Ho, R.M. Briber, "Neutron Scattering Study of Chain Conformations in the Energetically Neutral Pores of Vycor Glass", Macromolecules, 35,6384-6391(2002)
U. Perez-Salas, R.M. Briber, M.H. Rafailovich, J.Sokolov, "Interfacial Fracture Toughness Between Glassy Polymer Networks", J. Polymer Sci –Polymer Physics Ed., 41(16), 1902-1908(2003)
- American Conference on Neutron Scattering, College Park, Md. June 2004. This is an international conference with about 500 participants.
- First American Conference on Neutron Scattering, Knoxville, TN, June 2002. This is an international conference which had about 400 participants. It was the first time the conference was run and it is planned to be organized every two years.
- Soft Materials and Structural Biology Breakout Session at the SNS Users Meeting, May 2000, Washington, D.C.
- SNS LWTS Polymers, Colloids & Biology Workshop, April 2000 at University of Maryland, College Park, Md.
- Morphological Control of Multiphase Polymer Mixtures, MRS Fall 1996 meeting, Boston, Ma.
Professional Elected Offices
- Neutron Scattering Society of America, President 2002-2005
- Neutron Scattering Society of America, vice president 1999-2002
- Member-at-Large to the Executive Committee of the Division of Polymer Physics, American Physical Society, 1999-2002
- American Physical Society (fellow)
- Neutron Scattering Society of America
- Materials Research Society
- American Chemical Society
- Biophysical Society
Professional Committee Memberships
- NIST Center for Neutron Research Program Advisory Committee, member 1999 to2004
- University of Chicago Review Committee for the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source at Argonne National Laboratory 1997, 1999, 2001
- Large Length Scales Working Group, Spallation Neutron Source, Oak Ridge National Lab, Dept. of Energy, November 1998
- Basic Energy Science Advisory Committee Review of the High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge National Lab, October 1998
- Scheduling Committee, American Physical Society, Division of High Polymer Physics March Meeting, 1994-1998
- Los Alamos—Argonne National Laboratory Pulsed Neutron Source Program Advisory Committee 1993-1997 (Chair 1996-97)
- Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Research Award Committee, 1994-1997
- American Physical Society Division of High Polymer Physics Nominations Committee
- NASA Microgravity Research Review Panel for Polymers, 1995, 1997