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Chad R. Snyder, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Kinetics and thermodynamics of polymer crystallization. Semi-crystalline polymers account for the majority of commercially produced polymers and are increasingly important in the area of flexible electronics. Elucidation of the mechanisms of crystallization and quantification of measures of order in these systems enables optimization of processing conditions.

Advanced techniques in thermal analysis including high scanning rate and AC nanocalorimetry. By using chip-based calorimeters high scanning rates can be used to quantify rapid processes (e.g., chemical reactions, crystallization, and melting/superheating), thin films can be measured easily, and materials with limited availability can be accurately characterized.

Matrix Method for Exact Polymer Chain Statistics and Thermodynamics. Recent advances made by our group have extended transfer matrix methods to enable computation of the statistics and thermodynamics (partition function) of a polymer chain on a 3-dimensional lattice with heterogeneous physical or chemical roughness or patterning, and we have introduced a method for treating complex monomeric structures, e.g., phenylene groups. Application of the method to semicrystalline semiconducting polymers for flexible electronics, block copolymers for directed self-assembly, and polymer chromatography will elucidate aspects of the molecular-scale physical processes underlying these technologies that can then provide insights to accelerate technology development.

Dielectric properties of polymers. Dielectric spectroscopy has the capability to characterize the relaxation behavior of polymer materials over an incredibly large number of time scales (100 µHz to 10 GHz+). Improvements in experimental techniques and analysis techniques will enable breakthroughs in understanding of fundamental polymer physics.

Brief Biography

Dr. Chad Snyder is a Research Chemist in the Functional Polymers Group in the Materials Science and Engineering Division (MSED) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. From 2001 to 2009, he served as both Deputy Division Chief and Leader of the Characterization and Measurement Group in NIST's Polymers Division. He has been at NIST since 1996. Dr. Snyder’s research covers a broad range of topics including semiconducting polymers, nanocomposites, thermal properties at the nanoscale, ballistic resistance of polymeric materials, dielectric relaxation, thin film metrology, and polymer crystallization. Dr. Snyder was NIST’s representative to the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), Committee on Technology (CT), Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology (NSET) in 2001.

Dr. Snyder completed his B.S. in Chemistry cum laude at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in Physical Polymer Chemistry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Awards and Honors

  • Department of Commerce Bronze Medal (2009)
  • Department of Commerce Gold Medal for Customer Service (2007)
  • NIST/NRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (1996)
  • Shippensburg University Scholastic Achievement Award (1991)
  • American Chemical Society Award for Outstanding Senior in Chemistry (1991)
  • American Chemical Society Joint Polymer Education Committee Undergraduate Award for Outstanding Performance in Organic Chemistry (1989)
Photo of Chad R. Snyder


Research Chemist
Materials Science and Engineering Division
Functional Polymers Group

Employment History:

2014-present: Research Chemist, Functional Polymers Group, NIST

2009-2014: Research Chemist, Energy and Electronics Materials Group, NIST

2001-2009: Deputy Chief, Polymers Division, NIST

2001-2009: Leader, Characterization and Measurement Group, NIST

2000-2001: Program Analyst, Office of the Director, NIST

1998-2000: Research Chemist, Polymers Division, NIST

1996-1998: NRC-NIST Postdoctoral Fellow, Polymers Division, NIST


Ph.D., Physical Polymer Chemistry, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1995

B.S., Chemistry, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, 1991


Phone: 301-975-4526
Email: chad.snyder@nist.gov
Fax: 301-975-3928