Polymer Nanocomposites

Nature MaterialsWe are developing controlled radical polymerization techniques to design the interfacial properties of polymer nanocomposites. We have developed a toolbox of methods to control the chemistry at the surface of nanoparticles with great precision and use “click” chemistry techniques to introduce functionalities at the surface of nanoparticles which could not survive the polymerization conditions or may interfere with the polymerization.  Block copolymerization is also used to establish multilayers at the nanoparticle surface. 

We have developed a toolbox of methods to control the chemistry at the surface of nanoparticles

Our work relies on the use of the controlled radical polymerization technique, RAFT, or reversible addition-fragmentation, chain transfer polymerization. The design and synthesis of new RAFT agents, surface anchored RAFT agents, and new monomers have allowed us to prepare surface functionalized nanoparticles for many different applications.  We collaborate with groups at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Columbia University to study the fundamental behavior of the grafted nanoparticles in polymer nanocomposites.