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


Funding: 142.200,00€