420108 Thin Film Self-Assembly of Nano- and Micro-Structured Polymer Materials

Monday, November 9, 2015: 1:05 PM
251E (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Julie Albert, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

Nano- and micro-structured materials are important in templating and membrane applications, which require thin films with well-defined morphologies on application-specific length scales (e.g., peptide arrays ~nm, cell arrays ~μm).  Polymer self-assembly offers a simple route to structure formation that eliminates the need for more complex and time-consuming methods.  We access the nanoscale and the microscale with the use of block copolymers and polymer blends, respectively.  For our nanostructured block copolymer materials, we are interested in how self-assembly in thin film geometries is affected by film thickness constraints, surface energetics at the substrate and free air interfaces, and the molecular architecture of the block copolymer.  Our efforts on the microscale are focused on the thin film morphologies of biocompatible polymer blends.  In these blends, one of the polymer components is semi-crystalline, which has led us to study the effect of confinement on crystallization kinetics and crystal morphology.  Finally, we are studying how ternary block copolymer-homopoymer blends bridge nanometer to micron length scales in thin film geometries.  Ultimately, we aim to apply the materials we develop to cell culture and purification membrane applications.

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