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RPI Chemical and Chemical Biology Fall 2019 Seminar Series

December 3 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Brush Block Copolymers as Enabling Templates

for the Scaled Fabrication of

Nanostructured Materials and Devices

Jim Watkins

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Brush block copolymers (BBCPs) are a relatively new class of macromolecules that resolve several key barriers to the use of polymer-based self-assembly for the fabrication and manufacturing of functional materials and devices.  BBCPs are comprised of two or more blocks of a common main chain, each comprised of repeat units bearing side chains of differing chemical composition from those in the adjacent block.   The use of short side chains reduces chain entanglements, enabling rapid ordering dynamics and access to large domain sizes (up to 200 nm). BBCPs can serve as templates for well-ordered, highly-filled BBCP/nanoparticle composites with nanoparticle loadings of more than 70 wt.%, providing direct access to functional materials.  Examples include 1-D photonic crystals, metallo-dielectric metamaterials, non-linear optical materials, and carbon and silica based mesoporous materials.  The latter are produced by a unique photo-thermal processing approach that involves the ultra-fast (millisecond) high temperature conversion of framework precursors organized by the BBCP template on flexible polymer substrates, which in combination with rapid BBCP ordering dynamics enables continuous manufacturing. Applications to be discussed include porous multi-layer graphene – carbon composites for use as high capacity lithium ion battery anodes.

Bio: Jim Watkins is Professor of Polymer Science and Engineering and Director of the Institute for Hierarchical Manufacturing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Professor Watkins received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.  He joined the Chemical Engineering faculty at UMass in 1996 and the Polymer Science and Engineering faculty in 2005.  He is the recipient of a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2000) and a David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship for Science and Engineering (1998) and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (2012).


December 3
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Bruggemen Room, Biotech Building, RPI
110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180 United States
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