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Synthesis and Study of Engineered Heterogenous Polymer Gels

Description: This dissertation studies physical properties and technological applications of engineered heterogenous polymer gels. Such gels are synthesized based on modulation of gel chemical nature in space. The shape memory gels have been developed in this study by using the modulated gel technology. At room temperature, they form a straight line. As the temperature is increased, they spontaneously bend or curl into a predetermined shape such as a letter of the alphabet, a numerical number, a spiral, a square, or a fish. The shape changes are reversible. The heterogenous structures have been also obtained on the gel surface. The central idea is to cover a dehydrated gel surface with a patterned mask, then to sputter-deposit a gold film onto it. After removing the mask, a gold pattern is left on the gel surface. Periodical surface array can serve as gratings to diffract light. The grating constant can be continuously changed by the external environmental stimuli such as temperature and electric field. Several applications of gels with periodic surface arrays as sensors for measuring gel swelling ratio, internal strain under an uniaxial stress, and shear modulus have been demonstrated. The porous NIPA gels have been synthesized by suspension technique. Microstructures of newly synthesized gels are characterized by both SEM and capillary test and are related to their swelling and mechanical properties. The heterogenous porous NIPA gel shrink about 35,000 times faster than its counterpart--the homogeneous NIPA gel. Development of such fast responsive gels can result in sensors and devices applications. A new gel system with built-in anisotropy is studied. This gel system consists of interpenetrated polymer network (IPN) gels of polyacrylamide (PAAM) and N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPA). The swelling property of the anisotropy IPN gels along the pre-stressing direction is different from that along other directions, in contrast to conventional gels which swell isotropically. ...
Date: August 1998
Creator: Chen, Yuanye

Structural and Photoelectron Emission Properties of Chemical Vapor Deposition Grown Diamond Films

Description: The effects of methane (CH4), diborone (B2H6) and nitrogen (N2) concentrations on the structure and photoelectron emission properties of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) polycrystalline diamond films were studied. The diamond films were grown on single-crystal Si substrates using the hot-tungsten filament CVD technique. Raman spectroscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to characterize the different forms of carbon in the films, and the fraction of sp3 carbon to sp3 plus sp2 carbon at the surface of the films, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to characterize the surface morphology of the films. The photoelectron emission properties were determined by measuring the energy distributions of photoemitted electrons using ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), and by measuring the photoelectric current as a function of incident photon energy.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Akwani, Ikerionwu Asiegbu