Professional Information/Research

Zeki Y. Al-Saigh
Department of Chemistry
Buffalo State College
1300 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14222

Phone: (716) 878-5101

State University of New York Chancellor, Recognizes Al-Saigh’s Research and Scholarship in Albany, New York, May 02, 2007.

Professional Information 

B.S., University of Mosul ,1967
Ph.D., University of Birmingham, UK ,1973


   I teach a variety of courses such as Physical Chemistry I and II, a graduate Advanced Physical Chemistry, and General Chemistry.  


   For the past few decades, polymer scientists have been searching for comprehensive methods for the characterization of materials. Characterization is a term leading to the understanding of the physio-chemical properties of the polymeric system. This research stems from the fact that most of the present methods are beset with limitations and technical difficulties. Since 1983, I have been involved with investigating the possibility of using the gas chromatography method to study the physio-chemical properties of polymers. The method was later named Inverse Gas Chromatography (IGC). In this technique, the polymer under study is made onto a stationary phase for a GC column. Various probes are chromatographed, and the retention times, as a function of various physical parameters, are used to derive thermodynamic properties. Polymers, and polymer blends are coated on a solid support and packed into a chromatographic column as a stationary phase. In my group, we improved the theoretical and experimental procedures and presented the results in a series of publications. Since then, I have been applying the method successfully to characterize amorphous polymers, blends containing two amorphous polymers, and more complex blends containing amorphous and semicrystalline polymers. I compared the data obtained by IGC with those obtained by DSC and I concluded that the IGC method is a promising technique by which a wealth of information can be obtained on polymeric systems. It is also versatile, accurate and selective as compared to other methods in the field. So far, IGC can offer the following features:

1. Interaction parameters for polymer-solute, polymer-polymer and polymer-copolymer systems.

2. Diffusion coefficients.

3. Surface characterization including surface energies.

4. Glass transition and melting temperatures.

5. Degree of cross-linking.

6. Molar heat of sorption and mixing.

7. Degree of crystallinity

    I would like to continue improving the theoretical and experimental aspects of IGC method. The Flory-Huggins theory needs to be modified; so many real artifacts can be eliminated. I would like to apply IGC to characterize complex polymeric systems such as: conducting polymers, polymer blends containing two crystalline polymers, and polymer blends containing biodegradable polymers. Currently, my research group is involved with a research to characterize the following systems:

1) Polyaniline in the conducting and non-conducting forms and its blend with polyethylene.

2) Amylopectin and blend of amylopectin and biodegradable polymers such as poly (caprolactone), poly (acrylic acid) and poly (lactic acid).

3) preparation of Starch/Biodegradable Polymer/Clay nanocomposites, including the characterization of their mechanical and physiochemical properties.

    I have summarized my results and other researchers using IGC in five invited reviews: published by POLYMERNEWS, Trends in Polymer Science, International Journal for Polymer Analysis and Characterization, Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry: Instrumentation and Application and an ACS Series chapter in "Degradable Polymers and Materials". (See my publication list for citations).


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