Center for Mechanics of Solids, Structures and Materials

Seminar Schedule - Spring 2017

Home > Seminars > 2017.05.04

Thursday, May 4, 2017
Time: 3:30-5:00 PM
Place: WRW 102

Mechanics and Chemistry in Designing Polymers

Meredith Silberstein - Cornell University

The coupling of mechanics and chemistry is an emerging field leading to innovative material design. This talk will cover two projects within my group, one towards utilizing mechanochemistry in polymers and composites, the other towards tailoring bulk polymers formed from assemblies of single chain polymer nanoparticles (SCPN). Topic 1: Polymer and interface multifunctionality can be designed through the incorporation of chemical groups termed "mechanophores" that have a specific chemical transformation in response to applied force. Mechanophores have been developed that change color, emit light, alter polymer chain contour length, and trigger crosslinking. However, incorporating these force-driven molecules to create stress-driven functions in bulk materials can be tricky. We use a combination of computational, theoretical, and experimental approaches to understand how stress on the bulk scale is converted to mechanophore-scale force. Topic 2: SCPN are formed from intra-chain cross-linking of a single polymer chain. These units have potential as the building blocks of polymers where the properties are controlled by the highly tailorable SCPN structure rather than just by the material chemistry. As a first step towards understanding and designing these materials, we utilize molecular dynamics to investigate the theoretical mechanical behavior of a single SCPN as a function of degree of polymerization and cross-linking.

For further information please contact Dr. Kenneth Liechti or (512) 471-4164.

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