Restricted Research - Award List, Note/Discussion Page

Fiscal Year: 2021

172  University of North Texas  (84468)

Principal Investigator: Li,Xiao

Total Amount of Contract, Award, or Gift (Annual before 2011): $ 59,864

Exceeds $250,000 (Is it flagged?): No

Start and End Dates: - 9/10/21

Restricted Research: YES

Academic Discipline: Materials Science & Engineer

Department, Center, School, or Institute: College of Engineering

Title of Contract, Award, or Gift: Gradient Nano-Structures from Dissipative Nonequilibrium Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers

Name of Granting or Contracting Agency/Entity: Army Research Office

Program Title: N/A
CFDA Linked: Basic Scientific Research


The long-term goal here is to investigate the potential of using gradient nanostructured polymer films to mimic nature’s own light modulation structures. This requires understanding the fundamental principles of how to controllably push polymer-based materials systems away from equilibrium towards the successful generation of gradient porous ordered asymmetric nanostructures. The objective of this research project is to study the phase behaviors and self-assembly of the BCP/homopolymer system under a dissipative nonequilibrium or dynamic process, thereby advancing asymmetric porous nanostructures in thin films. The dissipative self-assembly depends on a constant influx of energy or disturbance. So far, the study has been limited to the systems of particle/micelle/peptides self-assembly. A delicate experimental design for precise control of energy input or waste removal will be critical to apply the dissipative self-assembly principle to block copolymers. The central hypothesis is that mixture solvent vapor that is applied to a perpendicular ordered BCP/homopolymer cylindrical structure in a stepwise or oscillating manner can adjust the homopolymer blends in the system to redistribute gradually across film thickness, resulting in non-native morphologies. This entails the rational design of the system based on homopolymer blends, interfacial energy, and mixture solvents. Completion of these aims will provide insights into the fundamental BCP self-assembly mechanisms under a dissipative nonequilibrium or dynamic process in order to achieve nonnative morphologies at different non-equilibrium states. This will pave the way for the realization of new conical frustum structure of BCPs to address important problems in the design of light modulation systems and optical lenses.

Discussion: No discussion notes


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