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					                        Ben Dach       Page 1 2/2/2010

       Behavioral Studies of Matrix-Free Silica Nanocomposite Networks

   The goal of this project is to make a polymer gel nanocomposite system using the
   click reaction and to study its physical properties. This has been done in
   collaboration with Hernàn Rengifo in the Koberstein group. The silica
   nanoparticles purchased from Aldrich were functionalized with alkyne and azide
   moieties according to literature procedures. Heterobifunctional PS and PMMA
   were synthesized by J. J. We were able to use the following techniques for
   characterization: TEM, FTIR, XPS, Rheology, Contact Angle Measurements.


1) Azide/Alkyne functionalization of Silica
      a. TEM to characterize the size distribution of the nanoparticles
      b. IR to detect functional groups on the nanoparticles
      c. TGA to determine the extent of the reaction and surface coverage
      d. Contact Angle to see differences between the functionalized surfaces
      e. XPS to detect the N atoms in the azide functionalization

2) Azide/Alkyne heterobifunctional polymers (PS/PtBA) grafting to Silica
      a. TEM to characterize the size distribution of the nanoparticles
      b. IR to detect functional groups on the nanoparticles
      c. TGA to determine the extent of the reaction and surface coverage
      d. Contact Angle to see differences between the functionalized surfaces
      e. XPS to detect the atoms in the surface moieties

3) Formation of several types of matrix-free nanocomposites
      a. Short Linkers (Si-N3 + Alkyne-Si)
      b. Long Linkers (Si-PS-N3 + Alkyne-PtBA-Si or same polymers)
      c. Medium Linkers (A combination of short ligands with long polymer
         ligands)

4) Characterization and Behavioral Studies of Nanocomposite Networks
      a. TEM to visualize the created network of nanoparticles
      b. IR to detect functional groups in the nanocomposite network
      c. TGA to determine the extent of the reaction
      d. Rheology to investigate the point of gellation and mechanical properties of
          the nanocomposite networks

				
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posted:2/2/2010
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