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Christopher Kemper Ober

  • Christopher Kemper Ober
  • Dept: Materials Science and Engineering
  • Title: Francis Norwood Bard Professor of Materials Engineering
  • Address: Room 310 Bard Hall
  • Phone: 607 255-8417
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Christopher Kemper Ober is the Francis Bard Professor of Materials Engineering at Cornell University. After several years in industry at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada, Ober moved to Cornell as an Assistant Professor in 1986. His research is focused on lithography, patterning, the biology materials interface and control of surface structure in thin films. As a reflection of his contributions to lithography, Ober received the 2003 International Sematech Outstanding Contribution Award and in 2004 was honored with the Photopolymer Science & Technology Award. An Associate Editor of Macromolecules and the President of the IUPAC Polymer Division, he is the 2006 winner of the American Chemical Society Award in Applied Polymer Science and received a Humboldt Research Prize in 2007. In 2007, he chaired the NSF Polymers Workshop. In 2009, Ober was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and was awarded the Gutenberg Research Prize by the University of Mainz. Ober served as Interim Dean of Engineering 2009 - 2010.

Research Interests

The ability to tailor the chemical structure of materials provides the ability to exquisitely control materials properties. Polymers, more than any other material, offer this possibility to fine-tune their thermal, optical and electrical properties. Polymers are also the basis of the nanotechnology revolution, serving as photoresists used to create nanometer scale structures. Our research is therefore focused in three areas: fundamental studies of self-organization in polymers, lithographic materials for microelectronics and biotechnology and new environmentally and biologically friendly materials. Each of these topics involves creative polymer synthesis using both state-of-the-art facilities and methods as well as advanced characterization tools, many of which are located here at Cornell University. The research group, consisting of a mixture of graduate students and post-doctoral associates, takes part in highly collaborative research with leading groups at Cornell and around the world.

Research Projects

-Biology-materials interface: cell-surface interactions (NBTC) -Environmentally friendly, fouling resistant surfaces (ONR) -Supercritical CO2 processing of photoresists (ERL) -Polymer brushes and interface engineering (NSF) -Molecular glass photoresists for high resolution, next generation lithography (SRC) -Flexible electronics for biological applications (NSF) -Top down/Bottom up lithography using photopatternable block copolymers (SRC) -Nanoparticle resists (Sematech) -Laser spike processing (Intel)

Selected Publications

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Humboldt Research Prize and Guest Professor (Freiburg University) 2011
  • 1st Annual FLEXI Award in the Education Category (FLEXI) 2009
  • ACS Fellow, Inaugural Class (American Chemical Society) 2009
  • Gutenberg Research Award, (University of Mainz) 2009
  • PMSE Fellow, Polymetric Materials: Science and Engineering Division (American Chemical Society) 2009



  • BSc (Chemistry), University of Waterloo, 1978
  • MS (Polymer Science & Engineering), University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1980
  • Ph D (Polymer Science & Engineering), University of Massachusetts- Amherst, 1982