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Research Zernike (ZIAM) News Seminars

Stratingh lecture - Roman Boulatov: The Force of Mechanochemistry

When:Tu 10-05-2016 16:00 - 17:00

Mechanochemical phenomena are all around us. They affect the generation, growth and propagation of microcracks that are responsible for catastrophic failure of pol-ymeric materials, behavior of impact-resistant materials (e.g., bulletproof vests) and tires, stabilities of surface-anchored polymers in microfluidic diagnostics and high-performance chromatography. Exploiting mechanochemistry may yield re-markable new materials and processes, including polymer photoactuation, efficient capture of waste mechanical energy, materials capable of autonomous reporting of internal stresses and self-healing, and tools to study polymer dynamics at sub-nm scales. The recent remarkable advances in empirical polymer mechanochemistry, evidenced by the proliferation of designer polymer that undergo specific chemistry when loaded demands a conceptual framework within which to rationalize and sys-tematize such observations and to develop systematic approaches to identifying new mechanochemical phenomena without extensive trial-and-error effort. I'll de-scribe one such framework we have developed and will illustrate its capabilities by demonstrating successful (a) quantitative predictions of mechanochemical behav-ior of isolated polymer chains from the force-dependent reactivity of a single mon-omer and (b) mapping of force distribution along a single polymer chain in elonga-tional flow using specially designed small-molecule force "gauges".