Scientific Contributions Earn UCI?s Yee Distinguished Accolades

By Anna Lynn Spitzer

03.23.05 – A division of the American Chemical Society will pay tribute to Albert Yee, Calit2 Irvine division director, with a symposium in his honor at the society’s 230th national conference, August 28-Sept.1, in Washington , D.C. (

Albert Yee
Albert Yee

The Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering division of the ACS is sponsoring the Symposium on Relaxation and Fracture in Polymer Solids to mark Yee’s 60th birthday and honor his contributions to the fields of polymer science and engineering. The symposium will address the fundamental mechanisms that govern the physical and mechanical responses of polymeric solids, with an emphasis on modifying or designing the material on the molecular, micro- and macro-structural scales to enhance physical properties.

Yee's research focuses on the physical and mechanical properties of polymers and soft materials, particularly on how they impact nanotechnology. Listed in ISI’s database as one of the most highly cited materials scientists worldwide, Yee has explored both the fundamentals and applications of these materials, and his inventions in the field have led to three U.S. patents. Most of the150+ papers he has published focus on three areas: toughening mechanisms in engineering polymers, molecular relaxation mechanisms in glassy polymers, and applications of the positronium annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS) technique to the study of polymers and other materials. His current research interests include nanocomposites, nanoimprinting and nanopatterning, ultrathin polymer films, polymer MEMS, and physics of glassy polymers.

For three decades, Yee has investigated the nature of cooperative molecular motions in glassy polymers and the intricate interplay among the molecular architecture, collective motions, and the mechanical behavior of solid polymers with a particular emphasis on the molecular origins of yield and crazing. His research group has also pioneered studies on the role of toughening agents in the fracture mechanisms of plastics. Beyond toughness, he and his collaborators have studied how cooperative motions affect a broad range of properties such as diffusion, transport and viscoelasticity which are often critical in engineering plastics. Their ultimate goal is to discover a rational approach to modifying polymers on the molecular and micro-structural scales to enhance physical properties.

Yee is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Polymers, Materials Science and Engineering Division of the American Chemical Society.

Papers that exemplify research interests similar to those described above are welcome at; deadline for submission is April 25, 2005.