UC4EP – Understanding Crystallisation for Enhanced Polymer Properties (PTDC/CTM-POL/7133/2014)
The UC4EP seeks to take a fresh and innovative look at understanding crystallisation in synthetic polymers from a molecular viewpoint in order to allow the optimisation of both the design of the chemical configuration and the processing conditions and nano-additives exploited. The international pulsed neutron facility ISIS (UK) houses a remarkable and unique instrument NIMROD which has provided us high quality neutron scattering data from |Q| from 0.01 to 100Å-1. This covers in a single quantitative data set, the three critical length scales for polymer crystallisation, namely a conformational change to produce segments with a regular conformation (~0.1nm) which form translationally ordered crystals (~1nm) which contains chain folded surfaces (~10nm). We will use fully atomistic models of the polymer chains to follow the conformational changes which accompany crystallisation using Monte Carlo sampling procedures. We will coarse grain the polymer chains to yield models of the lamellar crystals and the units cells to reveal whether these three structural scales evolve in a simultaneous or sequential manner. Furthermore, we intend to translate these preliminary studies in to a major project in order that we can radically improve our understanding of polymer crystallisation which can be used to design optimised polymer resins coupled with enhanced polymer processing and nano-additives to yield defined and improved polymer properties.
PI: Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Robert Mitchell
Partners: Instituto de Estructura de la Materia, CSIC (IEM-CSIC), Spain ISIS STFC – Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, United Kingdom
Funding Agency: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
Project Reference: PTDC /C TM-POL/7133/2014 | POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016881