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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

PI: Satish Kumar, Associate Fellow

Continuum and Nanoscale Simulations of Polymer Dynamics

These researchers are pursuing two projects aimed at simulating various aspects of polymer dynamics at the nanometer and continuum scales. In the first, they are performing simulations of pattern formation in thin polymer films, with the goal of understanding how to tailor external influences to create desired nanometer-scale patterns. Fundamental knowledge gained from this work is expected to benefit a number of technologies, including coatings, microfluidics, and biomaterials. The researchers have shown how normal AC electric fields can be used to create unique nanostructures, and they are investigating the effects of tangential electric fields.

The second project involves Brownian dynamics simulations of polyelectrolyte adsorption at solid surfaces. This is a fundamental problem relevant to numerous practical applications in materials processing and biophysics. The work aims at clarifying the roles of surface heterogeneity (chemical and topographical), chain branching, and fluid flow on the adsorption process. The group has recently characterized how solvent quality and charge patterning affect adsorption in fluid flows, and is now focusing on diffusion of adsorbed polyelectrolytes.

Group Members

Damien Brewer, Graduate Student
Shawn Dodds, Graduate Student
Nazish Hoda, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sreeram Kalpathy, Graduate Student
Scott Roberts, Graduate Student
Balram Suman, Graduate Student
Benson Tsai, Graduate Student