Nanoparticles Stabilize Thin Polymer Films: A Fundamental Study to Understand the Phenomenon

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A new understanding of thermodynamics at the nanoscale resulted in a recently discovered first order phase transition that nanoparticles in a polymer film will all segregate to the supporting substrate. This is an unusual phase transition that was predicted using a modeling technique developed at Sandia National Laboratories and required the equivalent of many computational years on one computer. This project is a collaboration between Prof. Michael Mackay's group and Dr. Amalie Frischknecht (Sandia National Laboratories) where experimental observation and theoretical rationalization and prediction are brought together. Other discoveries were that this phase transition could be avoided by changing the ... continued below

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Mackay, Michael E. March 4, 2009.

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Description

A new understanding of thermodynamics at the nanoscale resulted in a recently discovered first order phase transition that nanoparticles in a polymer film will all segregate to the supporting substrate. This is an unusual phase transition that was predicted using a modeling technique developed at Sandia National Laboratories and required the equivalent of many computational years on one computer. This project is a collaboration between Prof. Michael Mackay's group and Dr. Amalie Frischknecht (Sandia National Laboratories) where experimental observation and theoretical rationalization and prediction are brought together. Other discoveries were that this phase transition could be avoided by changing the nanoparticle properties yielding control of the assembly process at the nanoscale. In fact, the nanoparticles could be made to assemble to the supporting substrate, to the air interface or not assemble at all within a thin polymer film of order 100 nm in thickness. However, when the assembly process is present it is so robust that it is possible to make rough liquid films at the nanoscale due to nanoparticles assembling around three-dimensional objects. From this knowledge we are able to design and manufacture new coatings with particular emphasis on polymer-based solar cells. Careful control of the morphology at the nanoscale is expected to provide more efficient devices since the physics of these systems is dictated at this length scale and assembly of nanoparticles to various interfaces is critical to operation.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/46211
  • Grant Number: FG02-05ER46211
  • DOI: 10.2172/948873 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 948873
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc933249

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • March 4, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Jan. 9, 2018, 9:40 a.m.

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Mackay, Michael E. Nanoparticles Stabilize Thin Polymer Films: A Fundamental Study to Understand the Phenomenon, report, March 4, 2009; East Lansing, Michigan. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc933249/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.