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Seminar 4/13/2011 - Prof. Mahesh Mahanthappa, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Molecular Heterogeneity in Self-Assembly: Is Monodispersity Necessary?

Professor Mahesh Mahanthappa
Interdisciplinary Soft Materials Science
Department of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Advanced polymerization techniques enable the synthesis of a variety of polymeric materials with well-defined chain architectures, compositions, and tunable molecular weights and molecular weight distributions. The inherent chain length polydispersity of polymers derived from these syntheses affects their ultimate materials properties and applications. Relying on tandem ring-opening metathesis polymerization with chain transfer (ROMP-CT) and atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), we have synthesized a series of fully characterized poly(styrene-b-1,4-butadiene-b-styrene) triblock copolymers in which the polybutadiene blocks are polydisperse (Mw/Mn = 1.7-2.0) and the polystyrene end blocks are monodisperse (Mw/Mn = 1.05-1.30). We systematically explore the role of block polydispersity, a molecular chain length heterogeneity, on the melt-phase self-assembly behavior of these block copolymers. Using a combination of temperature-dependent X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy, we demonstrate that monodispersity is not a necessary condition for molecular self-assembly into well-defined supramolecular morphologies. The origins of these effects are discussed and a preliminary experimental phase portrait for this system and one related system will be given. Additionally, preliminary results on the effects of polydispersity on block copolymer thin film self-assembly will also be presented.

Location: Bowen Hall Atrium

Date/Time: 04/13/11 at 12:00 pm - 04/13/11 at 1:00 pm

Category: PRISM/PCCM Seminar Series

Department: PRISM