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Seminar 2/6/2013 - Peter Green, University of Michigan: Self-Assembly and Physical Properties of Polymer/Metallic Nanoparticle Systems

Abtract: The class of materials identified as polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) have a diverse range of applications, from structural and biomedical to electronic and optical. PNCs, materials composed of mixtures of polymers with particles of nano-scale dimensions, exhibit diverse functional properties, based on the molecular characteristics of the polymer and the size, dimension and chemistry of the nanoparticles (graphene, quantum dots, nanorods, clays, fullerenes and metallic nanocrystals). The primary challenge associated with the use of these systems is that the properties are unusually sensitive to the nanoparticle size and spatial distribution, and a combination of entropic and enthalpic interactions, which are often difficult to control.  A unified picture of how various competing interactions at the nanoscale determine the structure and properties of PNCs remains elusive.

In this presentation we show that a promising strategy for controlling the spatial distribution of nanoparticles within a polymer host, and hence the properties, involves grafting chains onto the surfaces of metallic nanoparticles of varying sizes. We have developed rules to design and to fabricate thin films of different morphologies of this class of PNCs. I will present: (1) examples of phase diagrams of thin film polymer/nanoparticle systems; (2) self-assembly of nanoparticles in homopolymers and block copolymers; (3) strategies to tailor”the refractive index, and surface plasmon response, of thin film PNCs.

Bio: Peter F. Green is the Vincent T. and Gloria M. Gorguze Professor of Engineering and Chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also Professor of Chemical Engineering and Applied Physics. Prof. Green is also Director of the Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion (CSTEC), a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC).

Professor Green was the 2006 President of the Materials Research Society (MRS).  The is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (London) and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is Editor-in-Chief of Materials Communications, Cambridge University Press/Materials Research Society.

Green's research group ( investigates fundamental questions the structure and properties of "soft" material based systems for applications that include: energy conversion, active and passive coatings, membranes, sensors, electrorheology and organic electronics. He earned his doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University on 1985, his MS from Cornell in the same field; in 1981 he earned both MA and BA (Honors) degrees in Physics from Hunter College, N.Y.

All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.

Location: Bowen Hall Auditorium

Date/Time: 02/06/13 at 12:00 pm - 02/06/13 at 1:00 pm

Category: PRISM/PCCM Seminar Series

Department: PRISM