Hermann F. Mark is considered a pioneer of modern structural chemistry. In his youth, Mark was the most decorated troop officer in the Imperial and Royal Army during the First World War. Army.
Immediately after graduating with honors in chemistry, Mark moved to the Chemical Institute of the University of Berlin as an assistant in 1921. A year later he worked at the Berlin Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (KWI) for Fiber Chemistry, which he headed from 1923. Mark introduced new experimental methods at the KWI, such as X-ray diffraction, which he used to study the molecular structure of textile fibers. Through Fritz Haber’s recommendation, he joined I.G. Farben in 1927, where he introduced Buna, the first synthetic rubber. Mark was the inventor of polymerization, the combination of like molecules to form polymers. In 1932, he became a professor at the University of Vienna; in 1938, for political reasons, he emigrated to Switzerland and later to Canada. In 1944 he founded the Institute of Polymer Research, the first of its kind in the USA, which he headed until 1964.