Stanford University Home


Curtis W. FrankThe Center on Polymer Interfaces and Macromolecular Assemblies (CPIMA) is an NSF sponsored partnership among Stanford University, IBM Almaden Research Center, the University of California Davis and the University of California Berkeley. CPIMA is dedicated to fundamental research on interfaces found in systems containing polymers and low molecular weight amphiphiles. Research within CPIMA is carried out in three Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs):

  • Synthesis and Application of Nanostructured Materials
  • Structure and Dynamics of Confined Systems
  • Functional Biomolecular Membranes

CPIMA considers new Seed Projects annually. Tangible outcomes of research in CPIMA impact chemical and biological sensors, nanostructures for microelectronics, lubrication and adhesion.

Curt with the student CPIMA People Student working

CPIMA Highlights [more highlights]

Green Chemistry of Poly(l-lactides)

As part of a series of studies on the green chemistry of poly(l-lactides), we have performed a theoretical study of the mechanism of ring-opening polymerization. We have investigated two alternative mechanisms for the ring-opening polymerization of l-lactide using a guanidine-based catalyst, the first involving acetyl transfer to the catalyst, and the second involving only hydrogen bonding to the catalyst. Using computational chemistry methods, we show that the hydrogen bonding pathway shown above is preferred over the acetyl transfer pathway and that this is consistent with experimental information.


Polymer Dynamics in Concentrated Solution

Polymer Dynamics in Concentrated Solution The dynamics of entangled polymer solutions far from equilibrium is, at present, a subject of considerable interest because the “natural” modifications to tube or reptation-based theories have not been successful. In such systems, polymer molecules are highly entangled, which results in the motion of any given polymer being highly restricted due to interactions with its neighbors. As expected, the dynamics of such a complex fluid is far different from those of the same.