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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

PI: David C. Morse, Associate Fellow

Computational Polymer Physics

The goal of this work is to elucidate molecular origins of properties of polymer liquids, polymer mixtures, and self-assembled structures of block copolymers. Research is currently focused on three main areas. In the first, the researchers are studying the thermodynamics and kinetics of multi-component polymer liquids and block copolymers. Computational work in this area relies on self-consistent field theory (SCFT) and coarse-grained molecular simulations.

Another project is focused on understanding self-assembly of block copolymers in selective solvents, such as water, dynamical processes in micellar solutions and polymer mixtures, and stress-induced slip at polymer-polymer interfaces. The researchers are using hybrid molecular dynamics/Monte Carlo simulations to study the limitations of the SCF approximation and to test more sophisticated theories.

Finally, the researchers are testing the hypothesized universality of behavior in dense polymer mixtures and block copolymer melts, in the form predicted or assumed in all coarse-grained theories.

Group Members

Jonathan Alger, Graduate Student
Jun Chung, Graduate Student
Jens Glaser, Research Associate
Andrew Gustafson, Graduate Student
Pavani S. Medapuram Lakshmi Narasimha, Graduate Student
Jian Qin, Graduate Student
Raghuram Thiagarajan, Graduate Student
Lynn Marie Wolf, Graduate Student
Renxuan Xie, Undergraduate Student
Feng Zuo, Research Associate