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Tuning Interactions and Self-assembled Structures in Polymer Heterojunctions and Nanocomposites

Speaker: Ryan C. Hayward, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Series: Saville Lectures
Location: Friend Center Convocation Room
Date/Time: Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The Hayward Group seeks to take advantage of supramolecular interactions between polymers, nanoparticles, and small molecules to precisely control the self-assembled morphologies, and resulting properties, of multi-component mixtures. In one example, they consider assembly of conjugated polymers, where the interactions between ?-conjugated systems are central to both self-assembly and electronic conductivity. The group has studied polythiophenes as a basis for the controlled growth of hybrid nanowire structures, and as crystal modifiers to tailor the growth of electron accepting materials such as perylene diimides. In a second example, they have taken advantage of hydrogen bonding interactions between ligand and matrix polymer chains to tailor dispersion of grafted nanoparticles in polymer matrices. Favorable interactions yield dispersion even when entropic considerations would lead to aggregation of athermal systems, and the temperature-sensitivity of hydrogen bonds provides opportunities for the design of materials with tailored and switchable dispersion states.