Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Christopher Stafford (Fed)

Project Leader, Polymer Membranes

We are developing advanced measurement methods of structure, dynamics, and transport of small molecules in polymer membranes and sorbents. The project is currently focused on polyamide-based membranes for water purification and amine-based sorbents for carbon capture. The objectives of the project include:

  • To design and demonstrate strategies for creating well-defined, model membranes and sorbents that allow systematic control over chemistry and structure
  • To develop and advance measurement platforms (often multimodal) to quantify dynamics and transport properties in model membranes and sorbents
  • To apply the knowledge generated from measurements on model materials to establishing structure/property/performance relationships in commercially relevant membranes and sorbents

Providing industry with the measurement tools and proficiency will enable scientists and engineers to design more selective and energy-efficient membranes/sorbents and processes.

"An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature’s answer."         - Max Planck

Research Interests

  • Polymer thin films and membranes
  • Water and ion transport
  • CO2 sorption
  • Direct Air Capture (DAC)
  • Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)
  • Surface wrinkling and patterning

Google Scholar: publications and citations

LinkedIn: profession network and background

Research Opportunities

National Research Council (NRC) Research Associates Program (RAP)


Fellow of the ACS PMSE Division (2018)
Fellow of the American Physical Society (2017)
MML Accolade for Technology Transfer (2016)
Adhesion Society Outstanding Young Adhesion Scientist Award(2010)
U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award (2007)
NIST Sigma Xi Young Scientist Award for Excellence in Scientific Research (2006)
U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal Award (2005)
National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associateship (2002-2004)

Selected Publications


Correlating the Diffusion of Water in Model Polyamides with Controlled Crosslink Densities to the Performance in Reverse Osmosis Membranes for Desalination

Velencia Witherspoon, Kanae Ito, Chad R. Snyder, Madhusudan (Madhu) Tyagi, Tyler Martin, Peter Beaucage, Ryan Nieuwendaal, Richard Vallery, David Gidley, Jeffrey Wilbur, Dean Welsh, Christopher Stafford, Christopher Soles
To elucidate robust design cues for improving the active polyamide (PA) filtration layers in reverse osmosis (RO) membrane for desalination, we systematically
Created October 9, 2019, Updated January 30, 2023