MSE Seminar: Paschalis Alexandridis
"Nanostructured Polymers: Opportunities in Health, Environment, and Energy Applications"
Paschalis Alexandridis, PhD
Dept. of Chemical & Biological Engineering and MSE Program
University at Buffalo (UB) - The State University of New York (SUNY)
Polymers offer prime examples of materials where nano- and meso-scale molecular organization impacts profoundly the material properties and function. Copolymers, consisting of covalently-linked blocks of different chemical nature or conformation, present model systems for the elucidation of the connections between chemistry, physics, and engineering. The addition of selective solvents may disrupt certain types of polymer organization but can promote others. The solvents thus provide valuable degrees of freedom for controlling the morphology and, hence, structure/property relationships, and can dramatically affect the local mobility.
The presentation will highlight the interplay between fundamentals of block copolymer self-assembly in selective solvents and their applications in the (a) structuring of waterborne complex fluids with properties tailored for pharmaceutics, (b) environmentally benign synthesis of metal and semiconductor nanoparticles in a size- and shape-controlled manner, and (c) formulation of polymer gels with ionic liquids as potential electrolytes for lithium batteries.