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Claude Cohen

  • Claude Cohen
  • Dept: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Title: Emeritus
  • Address: 318A Olin Hall
  • Phone: 607 255-7292
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Professor Cohen received a B.Sc. from the American University in Cairo and Ph.D. from Princeton University. After three short postdoctoral and research positions, he joined Cornell University in 1977. Professor Cohen worked to develop a research program at Cornell in the area of polymer characterization that includes light scattering and rheology. Funds supporting this research came from NSF, ACS- Petroleum Research Fund and a consortium of industries. The latter supported a joint program with colleagues from Mechanical Engineering on the subject of injection molding of plastics.

Research Interests

Professor Cohen's research includes application of polymer science and engineering to interpret the physical properties of polymer systems and composites, as well as the study of structure-property relationships of elastomers, applications of rheology and scattering techniques to colloids and polymer systems. He also focuses on soil remediation using amphiphilic polymer nano-particles.

For the past twenty years Claude Cohen has devoted a major part of his research efforts into gaining a better understanding of the relationship between structures and properties of elastomers, the testing of rubber elasticity theories, the thermodynamics of network swelling and the molecular dynamics in these materials. In collaboration with others, he has guided Monte Carlo simulation studies with an emphasis on direct comparison with experimental results on carefully synthesized "optimal" (quasi-defect-free) end-linked elastomers. These studies have helped elucidating the role of the physical architecture of a network (effects of pendent chains, entanglements, mixture of precursor chain size, ...) as well as effects of chemical structure (chain stiffness, specific chemical interactions, ...) on the physical properties of the networks.

Cohen's other research efforts are devoted to the study of suspensions and their applications. Publications in two areas have received wide attention; the most recent is the research directed toward polymer synthesis, polymer characterization, and the application of amphiphilic polymer networks that can take up hydrophobic solvents. Such networks can be prepared in nano-size scale by cross-linking droplets in an oil-in-water suspension. Advantages of these nano-particles over surfactants in soil remediation in terms of low adsorption onto soil and greater extraction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) with smaller number of washings have been demonstrated. Cohen has used extensively light scattering and optical techniques in both quiescent and flowing systems to investigate the dynamics of particles ranging in size from the nano-scale to the macro-scale. Earlier work was concerned with the study of rheological properties and fiber orientation in fiber filled composites. Cohen was co-Principal investigator (1977-88) of the Cornell Injection molding Program (CIMP) which was initiated under a grant from NSF. This program was active and supported by an industrial consortium until 2000.

Service Interests

CBE Department Policy Committee CBE Undergraduate Curriculum Committee Accepted membership on a University Faculty Committee on Program Review

Selected Publications

  • Landherr, L.J.T., Claude Cohen, L.A. Archer. 2011. "Effect of pendent chains on the interfacial properties of thin polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) networks." Langmuir 27: 5944-5952.
  • Landherr, L.J.T., Claude Cohen, P. Agarwal, L.A. Archer. 2011. "Interfacial friction and adhesion of polymer brushes." Langmuir 27: 9387-9395.
  • Chasse, W., J.L. Valentin, Claude Cohen, G. Genesky, K. Saalwaechter. 2011. "Precise dipolar coupling constant distribution analysis in proton multiple-quantum NMR of elastomers." J. Chem. Phys. 134 4: 044907.
  • Aguilera-Mercado, B M., G D. Genesky, Thomas Michael Duncan, Claude Cohen, Fernando Escobedo. 2010. "²H-NMR and Simulation Studies of Chain Segment Orientation in PDMS Bimodal Networks." Macromolecules 43 (17): 7173-7184.
  • Genesky, G., Claude Cohen. 2010. "Toughness and Fracture Energy of PDMS Bimodal and Trimodal Networks with Widely Separated Precursor Molar Mass." Polymer 51 (18): 4152-4159.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Chercheur Invité (Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles) 2010
  • Merrill Presidential Scholar Mentor (Cornell University) 2000
  • Professeur Invité (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, France) 1999
  • Merrill Presidential Scholar Mentor (Cornell University) 1996
  • The Sandy and Russell Rosen Lectureship in Chemical Engineering (Technion Haifa, Israel) 1984


  • BS (Chemistry), American University of Cairo, 1966