Structure-Property Relationships in Polymers
at ORAU Workforce Solutions

Date Posted: 3/11/2019

Opportunity Description

Title of Research Opportunity: Structure-Property Relationships in Polymers with Specific Intermolecular Interactions Strong intermolecular interactions have been found to dramatically alter the physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of polymeric materials. Examples of this effect that include hydrogen bonding in polyurethane elastomers, and the formation ionic aggregates in ion-containing polymers such as Surlyn. These effects increase toughness, elasticity, and other important characteristics. Depending on the mechanism, the effect of mechanical properties may be secondary to the addition of a functional behavior to the starting material. In this research program, the impact of intermolecular interactions will be studied in the context of supramolecular assembly in metallopolymers and ionic interactions. Metallopolymers are formed when a metal-binding ligand (e.g. 2,6-bis(1?-methylbenzimidazolyl)pyridine, or MeBIP) is incorporated into either an oligomer or a polymer (“core”). The addition of a multivalent metal salt such as Zn(ClO4)2 results in the formation of a non-covalent bond between multivalent MeBIPs and on Zn2+ atom. The molecular design of the metal-binding ligand-containing core plays a dramatic role in the characteristics of the resulting metallopolymer. For example, a telechelic core will form a linear metallopolymer upon the addition of metal salt. In this case, the project will focus on situations in which the metal-ligand connections between polymer chains. Changes in morphology and physical properties will be determined as a function of variables including core architecture, metal-binding ligand, metal salt, and metal salt counter ion. The concept will also be generalized to include ion-containing polymers and other non-covalent bonding mechanisms as relevant. Keywords: supramolecular assembly, metallopolymers, ion-containing, ionomer, SAXS, TEM

Opportunity Snapshot

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