(703b) Optimization of Tailored Multifunctional Nanocomposite Structures | AIChE

(703b) Optimization of Tailored Multifunctional Nanocomposite Structures

Polymer nanocomposites provide unique solutions to industrial and scientific applications where weight must be minimized and functionality maximized. Researchers are interested in improving the ability to tailor a product to meet specific weight, thermal, optical, mechanical and electrical requirements. Historically functional composite structures have been realized through a top-down approach. With the advent of atomic level measurement tools and experimental techniques a bottom-up approach to the creation of multifunctional structures is receiving intense study. We are developing unique multifunctional structures using such a bottom-up approach with the intent of developing molecular simulations to guide such a process. Properties of polymeric nanocomposite structures are tailored and optimized through a fundamental understanding of intermolecular forces. While macroscopic models of bulk properties of polymer nanocomposites have been characterized, much less is known on the dynamics of their interfacial characteristics, which must be fully developed in order to be able to tailor fabrication of multifunctional nanocomposites using the bottom-up approach. Self assembly, targeted functionalization and spin coating are used to provide consistent means of creating multilayer multifunctional thin film composite strictires allowing for the investigation of multifunctional composites. We investigate the affects of sonication, high shear mixing, and surface modification on the ability to control dispersion to create and predict multifunctional layers of epoxy spin coated nanocomposites and control desired mechanical properties such as conductivity, optical transmission and absorption, loss and storage moduli and coefficient of thermal expansion. The Interfacial Force Microscope (IFM), coupled with the Biaxial Loading Instrument, which allows for refined and uncoupled control of mixed-mode characterization of interface adhesion, will be used to determine interfacial characteristics of these multi-functional composites.