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Introduction to Polymer Nanocomposites

polymers nanotechnology and surface properties A brief introduction to polymer science will be provided. Many of the attributes that influence structure-property relationships for a polymer such as molecular weight, chain length, architecture, ordering, and functional groups will be explored. The size scale of a polymer makes them convenient as a nanostructured material in their own right, but they are also useful as a scaffold to orient and arrange other Nanomaterials to produce Nanocomposites with enhanced properties.

nano polymer additives as nanomaterials We will introduce various polymeric materials that most often serve as the matrix in Nanocomposites and discuss their intrinsic materials properties and how they change with molecular weight (size), solvent effects (folding) and processing conditions. Then we will discuss the enhanced material properties realized in conventional polymer composites vis-à-vis the constituent polymers. Next will be considered the unique effects of the addition of nanometer-sized inorganic materials to a polymer matrix. These effects are driven not only by the small size but unusual shapes and aspect ratios of the additives and include extraordinarily high interfacial areas; highly aligned phases of the additive; improvements in stiffness and barrier to diffusion; optical transparency; and unprecedented morphologies such as interpenetrating networks. The constituent inorganic additives will be considered as classes of particles, tubes and wires, two-dimensional platelets and porous materials.

nanoscratch, DuPont nanotechnology Information will be provided on synthetic routes to the inorganics – generated both externally and in situ – and on commercial sources of the nanoadditives. The composites will be discussed in terms of their structure/property relationships and their material properties compared to their conventional composite analogs. The new generation of analytical techniques essential for characterizing the structure, chemistry, and properties, of these materials at the nano and interfacial levels will be cited in context. Finally, established and projected market opportunities for nanocomposites and many prominent technical and commercial players will be identified.

Who Should Attend

polyerm structure, length ordering and side groups The Nano Impact Workshop is a unique and intensive program. These introductory - to intermediate - level courses are suitable for: Managers, Practicing Engineers, Industrial Scientists, on a decision-making level, Executives seeking strategic planning insight, Policy Makers with some technical background, and Academic Researchers developing a strong nano program.

Course Instructors

Dr. Gregory S. Blackman

Gregory S. Blackman Greg is a member of the Corporate Center for Analytical Science in DuPont’s Central Research and Development Division located in Wilmington Delaware. He joined DuPont in 1990 and is a leader in the application of Scanning Probe microscopy to materials and polymer research problems. Greg’s background is in Physics and Chemistry. He received a double bachelor’s of Science from Shippensburg University in 1982, followed by a Ph.D. in chemistry from Berkeley in 1988. In Graduate school, Greg studied Surface and Interfacial Chemistry with Gabor Somorjai.

In 1988, Greg accepted a post-doctoral position with IBM Almaden research center, where he learned the craft of a newly invented technology called Atomic Force Microscopy. Greg founded the Corporate Analytical Scanning Probe Microscopy lab shortly after he joined DuPont in 1990. Over the years, Greg has been active in shaping the new field of Scanning Probe both within and outside of DuPont. Particular interests lie in using SPM to obtain micro-chemical information about material surfaces, nano-mechanical characterization of polymers and biopolymers, and nano-electrical characterization. With collaborators from DuPont’s performance coatings business, Greg developed a NanoScratch tester that has become a world wide standard for mar performance of automotive coatings. He has been involved in many multidisciplinary efforts in nano and biotechnology at DuPont. Greg is a member of DuPont’s Nanotechnology steering committee and a leader of the Nanocharacterization group and is currently exploring methods for structural, chemical, mechanical and electrical characterization of materials on the nano-scale.

Dr. Kenneth G. Sharp

Ken is a member of the Material Science and Engineering Group in DuPont’s Central Research and Development Division located in Wilmington, Delaware. He was awarded a Ph.D. from Rice under John Margrave in physical and high temperature chemistry, then spent two years as a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at NIST, where he synthesized the first compounds consisting only of carbon, silicon and fluorine. He then joined the faculty at the Univ. of Southern Calif. in inorganic chemistry, specializing in synthesis via highly reactive intermediates. He next joined Dow Corning Corp., working with amorphous semiconductors generated via new synthetic silicon chemistry. While at Dow Corning, he helped found the Electronic Materials Department.

Ken joined the DuPont Co. in 1990. During his tenure at DuPont, he has been involved mostly with nanocomposites. He is the inventor or co-inventor of several new classes of nanocomposites, including “polymer-filled glass”, fluoronanocomposites and star gels. The latter two patents are for composition of matter. He has also worked extensively with exfoliated minerals and sol-gel systems. He has about eighty publications, including two reviews of inorganic/organic hybrid materials, and has ten issued patents related to nanotechnology.

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