Chen Lab

Lara Al Hariri

Lara Al-Hariri

Chemical Education & Material Science (Polymers)

Lecturer in Chemistry
PhD-Material Science and Analytical Chemistry, Florida State University, MaƮtres in Chemistry, Lebanese University of Beirut.

ISB 341H


Principal Research Interests

My main interests are in education and research.


I am interested in developing modern approaches to chemical education to really engage students in the process of learning, and generally make chemistry courses more entertaining. I am using some of the latest techniques from the best international practices to really ignite the passion and enthusiasm for science with my students. You can expect live demonstrations in the class, participation using i>clicker, and comprehensive examination that will build on the knowledge and understanding of the course material. My job is not only to teach students, but to prepare them for their future jobs in the new frontiers in collaborative research fields such as nano-science, biomaterials, and chemical engineering.


I have been engaged in multidisciplinary research on commercial and novel polymers that are used in optoelectronic, biomaterials and antifouling surfaces. These polymers are used at the nanoscale level as coatings for different kinds of surfaces to dramatically change their properties for higher performance in applications. An integral part of my research focused on enhancing the optical properties of poly(phenylvinylene) (PPV), a conjugated luminescent polymer, mainly used in organic light emitting devices (OLEDs). By understanding the structure-to-optical relationship, an insight was gained into development of a low temperature, carbonyl free optical PPV material.

The second part of my research focused on cell and bacterial responses to different functionality nanoscale coatings to explore the reasons behind cells/bacteria adhesion and resistance to surfaces. My focus is to continue to develop methods to utilize polymers for drug delivery and anti-fouling surfaces.