Polymer Surface Chemistry: Structure and Reactivity of Surface Segments and Oligomeric Chain Distributions
Joseph Gardella Principal Investigator
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This research project, supported by the Analytical and Surface Chemistry Program and the MPS Office of Multidisciplinary Activities, addresses the question of surface segregation of polymer segments at polymer surfaces. Professor Gardella and his research group at SUNY-Buffalo use methods of surface analysis including secondary ion massspectrometry and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to probe the composition of various polymer surfaces. This collaborative multidisciplinary project combines the efforts of synthetic polymer scientists who will make selected siloxane polymers with this group's expertise in the application of a variety of surface characterization methods to the study of these materials. The kinetics of diffusion of the components of siloxane polymer monolayer films through overlayer polymers will be determined using this array of methods. Segment length and molecular weight distribution for a range of siloxane copolymers will be examined as a function of polymer architecture and preparation conditions. The determination of structure and reactivity at polymer surfaces and interfaces is the overall goal of this work. The connection between the bulk microstructure of copolymer systems and the surface composition is a little explored area of polymer surface chemistry. This collaborative multidisciplinary research project uses state of the art surface analytical methods of this group to probe the segregation of polymer segments at copolymer interfaces that will be prepared by collaborators with synthetic polymer expertise, and addresses the effects of these compositional changes on the surface properties of these materials. This information is vital to the design of new polymer systems with useful surface properties.