Suspensions of well dispersed nanoparticles (<20nm in radius) in a polymer matrix change the material properties counter to generally accepted theories. The dispersed nanoparticles decrease the melt viscosity while increasing the Young's modulus in the glassy state, making the material stronger yet easier to process. In this project the effect of nanoparticle size (relative to the polymer chain), dispersion and volume fraction are being investigated to understand these true nanoscale phenomena.
E. S. McGarrity, A. L. Frischknecht and M. E. Mackay, "Phase behavior of polymer/nanoparticle blends near a substrate," J. Chem. Phys., 128 (2008) 154904-1 - 154904-10.
Tuteja, M. E. Mackay, S. Narayanan, S. Asokan and M. S. Wong, "Breakdown of the continuum Stokes-Einstein relation for nanoparticle diffusion," Nano Letters, 7 (2007) 1276-1281.
Tuteja, P. M. Duxbury and M. E. Mackay, "Multifunctional nanocomposites with reduced viscosity," Macromolecules, 40 (2007) 9427-9434.
M. A. Holmes, M. E. Mackay and R. K. Giunta, "Nanoparticles for Dewetting Suppression of Thin Polymer Films used in Chemical Sensors," J. Nanopart. Res., 9 (2007) 753-763.
M. E. Mackay, A. Tuteja, P. M. Duxbury, C. J. Hawker, B. Van Horn, Z. B. Guan, G. H. Chen and R. S. Krishnan, "General strategies for nanoparticle dispersion," Science, 311 (2006) 1740-1743.