Thursday, May 10, 2012
Spalding Laboratory 106 (Hartley Memorial Seminar Room)
Chemical Engineering Seminar
Transport of ions and penetrants through structured polymeric matrices: interplay of structure and dynamics of polymers
Venkat Ganesan, Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
In this talk, I will discuss our recent work in the context of the barrier properties and conductivities of structured polymeric matrices. While much earlier work has focused on these issues in the context of glassy homopolymeric membranes, there have been only a few isolated studies on the issues specific to structured polymeric matrices, such as those arising in block copolymers and nanocomposite membranes. In such materials, the polymeric matrix exhibits density (or volume fraction) inhomogeneities which also in turn leads to dynamical heterogeneities. Modeling and understanding the mechanistic features underlying the transport of ions and penetrants through such heterogeneous matrices is of interest to a wide range of applications, including water purification, polymer batteries and fuel cell membranes. In our work, we have used a combination of coarse-grained simulations and nonequilibrium statistical mechanics models to shed light on the parameters influencing such transport properties. In this talk, I will present these results and discuss the ramifications for the design of batteries and polymer separation membranes.