Emmanuel P. Giannelis – Cornell University

Walter R Read Professor of Engineering


Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1985
B.S., University of Athens, Greece, 1980

Research Interests

The design and synthesis of materials with nanometer dimensions are the subjects of intense current research. Materials with dimensions in the range of 1 to 10 nm exhibit novel electronic, optical, magnetic and chemical properties due to their extremely small dimensions.

A large part of our effort has been devoted to the design and synthesis of polymer nanocomposites using intercalation of layered solids. Our group has pioneered melt intercalation of high polymers as a powerful new approach to synthesize polymer-layered silicate nanocomposites. This method is quite general and is broadly applicable to a range of polymers from essentially non-polar polystyrene to strongly polar nylon.

The nanocomposites represent a radical alternative to conventional, macroscopic composites. Because of their nanometer-scale dispersion, they exhibit markedly improved mechanical and physical properties including increased modulus and strength, decreased permeability, and increased solvent and flame resistance.

In addition to their potential applications, the nanocomposites are also unique model systems to study the structure and dynamics of polymers in “confined” environments. By varying the nanostructure the statics and dynamics of polymers confined over distances ranging from the statistical segment length of the chains to the radius of gyration of the polymer can be studied. Characterization tools include neutron and X-ray scattering, nuclear magnetic resonance, dielectric spectroscopy, ion beam analysis and computer simulations.


  • Dean's Prize for Excellence in Teaching
  • Sigma Xi


Emmanuel P. Giannelis– Cornell University

Office: 326 Bard Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14853

Phone: (607) 255-9680