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Polymer-based Nanomanufacturing

Assembly of polymer blends (pdf) is of interest to form non-uniform morphologies with arbitrary shapes. Assembly is driven by selective hydrophobic/hydrophilic interactions between the polymers and the template. The morphology is controlled by evaporation rate, polymer molecular weight, and template functionalization.  

The Nano Center Team is working in all of these areas and would be happy to meet with your company to discuss how we can apply this expertise to help develop your next generation of safe, state-of-the-art materials and products. Contact us.

Advantages of polymer blend assembly: 

• A large number of readily available materials can be used 

• Non-uniform structures can be assembled: curves, bends, junctions, text, etc. 

• Varying sizes can be implemented on a single substrate 

• Feature sizes below 100 nm can be assembled 

• Assembly with high pattern fidelity can be achieved in short times 


Applications for assembled polymer blends: 

• Flexible circuits 

• Biosensors 

• Optoelectronic devices 

• Templates for the deposition of other elements 


CONDUCTIVE POLYMER ASSEMBLY

Conducting polymers (pdf) offer advantages for the fabrication of novel nanoscale devices over metal and traditional semiconductors, such as convenient processing and adjustable conductivity. High-rate methods for fabricating nanoscale patterned conducting polymers are therefore of significant technological importance. 

In our research, electrophoretic and dielectrophoretic assembly were used to assemble polyaniline (PANi) into nanoscale patterns in less than one minute. Both of these techniques provide a high rate and cost-effective approaches for nanomanufacturing because electric fields permit complete assembly in 1 minute or less as well as easy of control of dimensions using assembly time and amplitude or frequency of the electric field. 

The Nano Center Team is currently using these assembly techniques along with other processes to enable new capabilities for numerous clients.  We would be happy to meet with your company to discuss how we can apply this expertise to help develop your next generation of safe, state-of-the-art materials and products. Contact us.

THERMOPLASTIC NANOCOMPOSITES

Polymer nanocomposites (pdf) are composed of a nanofiller dispersed into a polymer matrix. Typical fillers include nanoclay, carbon nanotubes, nanoparticle silver, nanoalumina, etc. Nanocomposite materials exhibit unique material properties, such as improved barrier properties, flame retardance, and mechanical properties, depending on the choice of filler. The materials have application for lighter weight structural parts, barrier materials for improved packaging (e.g MREs), EMI shielding, and antimicrobial performance. 

 

One of the barriers to obtaining optimal properties is the need for excellent dispersion and distribution of the nanofiller coupled with quantitative dispersion measurement techniques. To create the materials in an industrially relevant manner, continuous melt mixing processes are necessary. We have expertise in twin screw mixing of numerous nanofillers in a wide range of thermoplastics.  Contact us to see how we can help your company develop the next generation of materials and products.