George Odian
Professor Emeriti

Academic Background


  • B.S., City College/CUNY, 1955
  • M.A., Columbia University, 1956
  • Ph.D., Columbia University, 1959


Research Interests


Homogeneous Isotactic Ziegler Polymerizations
We are studying the mechanism for the isotactic stereospecific polymerization of a-olefins such as 1-butene and 1-hexene by rigid, chiral zirconocene catalysts. These catalysts are unique in that they are the only homogeneous Ziegler-type catalysts to achieve highly isotactic polymerization. Our overall approach to understanding polymerization mechanism is characterization of polymer structure and correlation of structure with polymerization variables such as catalyst structure and polymerization conditions. Special emphasis is placed on end-group analysis as a route to elucidation of termination mechanisms.

Zwitterion Polymerization
Zwitterion polymerizations involve either zwitterion intermediates, formed from two-reactant (Type 1) or one-reactant (Type 2) systems, or stable (isolable) switterion salts (Type 3). Type 1 systems yield only low molecular weight polymers due to facile termination reactions. Termination is much less favored in Type 2 and 3 systems and we have successfully achieved high molecular weights in several systems. Our studies emphasize an understanding of the relationship between zwitterion structure, polymerization conditions, and the ability to control and achieve high polymer molecular weights.