(60c) Polymer Hybrids Through Control Over Nanoparticle Interfaces

Kumar, S. K., Columbia University

While much interest has been focused on the practical uses of polymer-nanoparticle hybrids, little is understood about the science that underpins this important class of materials. For example, the factors governing the equilibrium miscibility of polymers and particles are not understood. Here we demonstrate that control over the nanoparticle-polymer interface, through physical or chemical means, provides for a facile means of regulating the spatial dispersion state of the nanoparticles. Crucially, the availability of this control allows us to systematically explore and thus optimize the engineering properties of the resulting polymer nanocomposites. This talk will present both experimental and theoretical results from our group which focus on the underpinning role of nanoparticle interfaces on the properties of the composites that result.