Crystallization induced structure development in polymer nanocomposites

In polymer nanocomposites, inorganic nanoparticles are
dispersed in a polymer matrix to prepare materials with superior engineering
properties. Of particular interest are a novel class of materials, called
polymer grafted nanoparticles. These are nanoparticles that comprise an
inorganic core covalently tethered to a shell of polymer chains. Dispersion of
polymer grafted nanoparticles in a polymeric matrix is facilitated by favourable
interactions between the grafted shell and the matrix. In particular, when the
matrix is a polymer that can crystallize, then the organization of the nanoparticles
in influenced by the propagating crystallization front as the matrix polymer
crystallizes on cooling from the melt. This project is largely experimental in
nature, and involves learning about polymer processing and characterization
techniques including microscopy, rheology, mechanical property measurements in the
solid state and some scattering/microscopy.

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Colloids
  • Nano-composites
  • Nanoparticles
  • Polymer Physics
  • Polymer Processing
  • Rheology