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Award Abstract #1351657

CAREER: Understanding Directionally Templated Interphase Processing-Structure Development and Relationships in Polymer Nano-Composite Materials

NSF Org: CMMI
Div Of Civil, Mechanical, & Manufact Inn
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Initial Amendment Date: March 1, 2014
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Latest Amendment Date: March 1, 2014
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Award Number: 1351657
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Mary M. Toney
CMMI Div Of Civil, Mechanical, & Manufact Inn
ENG Directorate For Engineering
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Start Date: July 1, 2014
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End Date: June 30, 2019 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $400,000.00
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Investigator(s): Marilyn Minus m.minus@neu.edu (Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Northeastern University
360 HUNTINGTON AVE
BOSTON, MA 02115-5005 (617)373-2508
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NSF Program(s): MATERIALS PROCESSING AND MANFG
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Program Reference Code(s): 080E, 1045, 8025, 8037, 9102
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Program Element Code(s): 1467

ABSTRACT

This Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant provides funding for the development of a new manufacturing process that will be used to tailor polymer molecular architectures in nano-composite materials. The primary goal of this research is to apply a nano-scale templating method to the broad field of polymer-based nano-composite materials processing in order to solve key issues regarding alignment of flexible molecules by rigid nano-bodies. To understand the key scientific questions regarding how and why templating occurs, the experimental platforms of this research will focus on understanding the fundamental mechanisms associated with inducing templated structures in polymers by the nano-materials. Control of the polymer molecular alignment and shape in the composite by templating processes will also provide insight toward achieving multi-scale structural registry in the final material using a top-down processing approach. This is an issue that needs to be addressed in many fields where the material structure-property relationship is key.

If successful, the results of this research will lead to new processing approaches that can be used to control structural development in materials in order to tailor its performance. These results will also provide understanding about role of rigid nano-bodies as templates for flexible molecules in order to affect architectural control of macromolecules for materials design. This processing approach will affect materials development in many industrial areas including transportation, health care, aviation, aerospace, structural building materials, pharmaceuticals, and even sporting equipment. It will also enable fabrication of designer materials using common (i.e., cheaper) as well as more sophisticated constituents providing a new array of more affordable materials, which will in turn facilitate new technologies to be incorporated into many applications at a swifter pace.

 

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