Polymer Physics:Structure-Morphology-Property Relationships

The Advanced Multiphasic Polymers (AMP) group is devoted to understanding structure, morphology, functionality and properties of semi-crystalline multiphasic polymers. It studies a wide diversity of multiphasic materials by designing and compounding blends, polymer blends nanocomposites (PBNANOs), nanocomposites and bionanocomposites or by collaborating with different polymer synthesis group (including the Innovative Polymers Group within POLYMAT) that can prepare novel "a la carte" materials capable of providing insights on self-assembly and physical properties. The techniques commonly employed by the group include Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Fast Chip Calorimetry (Flash DSC), Thermogravimetry (TGA), polarized optical microscopy (PLOM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), electron microscopy (SEM and TEM) and x-ray diffraction. The group is a frequent user of the ALBA synchrotron facility. Processing (extrusion, injection molding) and mechanical properties (DMTA, tensile and impact) are also employed as well as rheological measurements in collaboration with the Processing and Rheology group at Polymat.

Research topics:

Effects of confinement on polymer nucleation, crystallization and morphology. The confinement can be provided by nanoporous AAO templates, nanophases within random or block copolymers and terpolymers and multilayer assemblies of thin films.

How polymer topology affects crystallization: linear, stars, combs and cyclic homopolymers and copolymers.

Melt memory effects on the crystallization of homopolymers and copolymers. Differences between isotropic and self-nucleated melts studied by calorimetry, rheology and dielectric relaxation.

Isomorphism and isodimorphism in biobased copolyesters, copolyethers and copolycarbonates. Chemical structure, molecular weight, thermal properties and phase behaviour.

Preparation, thermal, rheological and mechanical properties and applications of nanocomposites, polymer blend nanocomposites (PBNANOs) and functional polymer blends.

Thermal fractionation by the Successive Self-Nucleation and Annealing (SSA) technique designed and implemented by A.J. Müller et al.

Multi-crystalline model polymeric systems: double crystalline diblock copolymers, triple crystalline triblock terpolymers and tetracrystalline tetrablock tetrapolymers.