Georgia Tech Professional Education Award, 2011; Class of 1940 Howard Ector Outstanding Teacher Award, 2009; Eichholz Award, 2008; Class of 1934 Outstanding Use of Educational Technology Award, 2008; Georgia Tech Ph.D. Advisor Award, 2005; NSF CAREER Award, 1995; Research Corporation Cottrell Scholarship, 1994; Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award, 1991.
The main focus of Dr. Collard's research is the molecular self-assembly in polymers which allows for the formation of new supermolecular architectures that take on new functions and promise potential benefits and novel applications. Currently, his group is studying surfactants, spontaneously assembled monolayers, and liquid crystals. Materials under study include conjugated electronically conductive polymers and new functional polyesters. Techniques used to construct and probe the structure of our supramolecular assemblies including: synthesis, electrochemistry, thermal analysis, X-ray diffraction and microscopy.
Conducting Polymers. Electronically conductive polymers have a broad range of potential applications, including sensors, displays, optical communication, and microelectronics. The polymers of interest have highly conjugated backbones, such as polyacetylene and polythiophene. To prepare ordered ( i.e. , crystalline) polymers we have prepared monomers, which are surfactants and liquid crystals. The polymer chain structure and chain packing are studied for their effect on conjugation and charge migration.
New Functional Copolyesters. Despite well-developed markets (fibers, food and beverage packaging), and a world shortage of feedstock, fundamental questions about the structure of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) remain unanswered. Copolymers and polymers with pendant functional groups are prepared to develop structure-property relationships and to optimize properties. Research goals include: decreased permeability to carbon dioxide and oxygen, increased glass transition temperature, increased tensile strength and increased modulus. Incorporation of the anthracenate unit into PET allows for the modification of polymer properties through grafting with dienophiles.