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Synthesis and characterization of crystalline assembly of poly Nisopropylacry-lamide)-co-acrylic acid nanoparticles.

Description: In this study, crystalline poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) (PNIPAm-co-AAc) nanoparticle network in organic solvents was obtained by self assembling precursor particles in acetone/epichlorohydrin mixture at room temperature followed by inter-sphere crosslinking at ~98 °C. The crystals thus formed can endure solvent exchanges or large distortions under a temporary compressing force with the reoccurrence of crystalline structures. In acetone, the crystals were stable, independent of temperature, while in water crystals could change their colors upon heating or changing pH values. By passing a focused white light beam through the crystals, different colors were displayed at different observation angles, indicating typical Bragg diffraction. Shear moduli of the gel nanoparticle crystals were measured in the linear stress-yield ranges for the same gel crystals in both acetone and water. Syntheses of particles of different sizes and the relationship between particle size and the color of the gel nanoparticle networks at a constant solid content were also presented. Temperature- and pH- sensitive crystalline PNIPAm-co-AAc hydrogel was prepared using osmosis crosslinking method. Not only the typical Bragg diffraction phenomenon was observed for the hydrogel but also apparent temperature- and pH- sensitive properties were performed. The phase behavior of PNIPAm nanoparticles dispersed in water was also investigated using a thermodynamic perturbation theory combined with lightscattering and spectrometer measurements. It was shown how the volume transition of PNIPAM particles affected the interaction potential and determined a novel phase diagram that had not been observed in conventional colloids. Because both particle size and attractive potential depended on temperature, PNIPAM aqueous dispersion exhibited phase transitions at a fixed particle number density by either increasing or decreasing temperature. The phase transition of PNIPAm-co-AAc colloids was also studied. The results from the comparison between pure PNIPAm and charged PNIPAm colloids showed that the introducing of carboxyl (-COOH) group not only contributed to the synthesis ...
Date: December 2004
Creator: Zhou, Bo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mechanical behavior and performance of injection molded semi-crystalline polymers.

Description: I have used computer simulations to investigate the behavior of polymeric materials at the molecular level. The simulations were performed using the molecular dynamics method with Lennard-Jones potentials defining the interactions between particles in the system. Significant effort was put into the creation of realistic materials on the computer. For this purpose, an algorithm was developed based on the step-wise polymerization process. The resulting computer-generated materials (CGMs) exhibit several features of real materials, such as molecular weight distribution and presence of chain entanglements. The effect of the addition of a liquid crystalline (LC) phase to the flexible matrix was also studied. The concentration and distribution of the second phase (2P) were found to influence the mechanical and tribological properties of the CGMs. The size of the 2P agglomerates was found to have negligible influence on the properties within the studied range. Moreover, although the 2P reinforcement increases the modulus, it favors crack formation and propagation. Regions of high LC concentration exhibit high probability of becoming part of the crack propagation path. Simulations of the tensile deformation under a uniaxial force have shown that the molecular deformation mechanisms developing in the material depend on several variables, such as the magnitude of the force, the force increase rate, and the level of orientation of the chains. Three-dimensional (3D) graphical visualization tools were developed for representation and analysis of the simulation results. These also present interesting educational possibilities. Computer simulations provide us information which is inaccessible experimentally. From the concomitant use of simulations and experiments, a better understanding of the molecular phenomena that take place during deformation of polymers has been established.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Simoes, Ricardo J. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries