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Polymer Confinement in Porous Silica

Andrew Flower

Andrew Flower (previous student, left the group in 2000)

Porous silica is an important component of a number of everyday systems, from personal care products to paints and paper coatings. These systems can also contain polymers and it is important to know how they interact with the silica. This study is particularly interested in observing how the polymers are restricted when they enter the pore system of the silica.

As illustrated below a polymer can either stick at the surface of the silica or enter the pore system. If the polymer enters the pore then its conformation, whether at the surface or free within the pore, may be determined by the surrounding silica.

Confined silica

Techniques used:

This project is funded by the EPSRC and Crosfields.