case western reserve university



Eric Baer

Leonard Case Professor

Macromolecular Science and Engineering

Contact | Eduction | Research | Potential Impact | Publications | Fields | Web Site

Phone: (216) 368-4203
Fax: (216) 368-6329

Office:Kent Hale Smith 420, 2100 Adelbert Road, Cleveland, OH 44106-7202


D. Eng in Chemical Engineering Johns Hopkins University

M.S. in Chemistry Johns Hopkins University


Polymer Nanolayers and Microlayers by Forced-Assembly

Layer-multiplying coextrusion uses forced assembly to create thousands of alternating layers of two polymers. The thickness of the individual layers can be controlled from the microscale to as thin as 5 nanometers. This highly flexible tool is used to fabricate unique structures of otherwise incompatible polymers.

Bio-Inspired Gradient Refractive Index Materials

A new class of optical materials incorporates both the nanolayered structure of the biological lens and a refractive index gradient. The exceptional flexibility of the process lies in the wide range of lens shapes and index profiles that can be realized.

Tunable 1D Photonic Crystals

Narrowband 1D photonic crystals are fabricated from polymeric materials using layer-multiplying coextrusion. Incorporation of functional additives allows the production of optical elements (dielectric mirrors, reflectors, filters, lenses, gratings) with tunable optical properties.

Nonlinear Materials for Optical Limiting

A new generation of optical limiters, i.e. optical elements that are normally transparent but become highly reflective when exposed to intense optical radiation, is under investigation. The new materials combine nonlinear optical dyes in one or both layers of the multilayer configuration.


Layer-multiplying coextrusion is a highly flexible tool for fabricating unique hierarchical microlayered and nanolayered structures and systems. The potential for combining polymers with organic dyes, inorganic and hybrid particles, and conductive or photoreactive materials can impact key industries such as biotechnology, information technology, and energy conversion.

Nano and Microlayered Polymers: Structure and Properties, by T. E. Bernal-Lara, A. Ranade, A. Hiltner, E. Baer, in Mechanical Properties of Polymers Based on Nanostructure and Morphology (G. H. Michler and F. J. Baltá Calleja, eds.), Taylor & Francis, 2005, pp.629-681.

A Widely Tunable Refractive Index in Nanolayered Polymers, by M. Sandrock, A. S. Shirk, H. Tai, A. Ranada, M. Wiggins, E. Baer, A. Hiltner, Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 84, 3621-3623 (2004).

Multilayer Polymer Gradient Index (GRIN) Lenses, by E. Baer, A. Hiltner, J. S. Shirk, U.S. Allowed Patent Application 10/941,986 (2004).

Photopatternable Reflective Films Produced by Nanolayer Extrusion, by R. Tangirala, E. Baer, A. Hiltner, C. Weder, Adv. Funct. Mater., Vol. 14, 595-604 (2004).