- Prof. Mark D. Losego, Advisor, MSE
- Prof. Dong Qin, MSE
- Prof. Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena, MSE
- Prof. Andrew J. Medford, ChBE
- Prof. Michael Filler, ChBE
Influence of Kinetics and Thermodynamics on Precursors-Polymer Combinations for Vapor Phase Infiltration (VPI)
Vapor phase infiltration (VPI) is a post-polymerization modification technique that imbues inorganic materials into polymers to create organic-inorganic hybrid materials with new properties distinct from the parent polymer. While several VPI precursor-polymer chemistries have been explored, a lack of chemical intuition remains for fully understanding the thermodynamics and kinetics that govern the VPI process. For a variety of polymer-precursor systems that have been extensively studied there is a depth of knowledge that consists of definitive bonding structures as well as consequent structure-property relationships that ensues. However, since there is not a definitive method of predicting how different polymer-precursors interact, react and form there is a lack of information for polymer-precursor systems that haven't been studied as extensively
Recently, models have been proposed to explain the thermodynamics and kinetics of VPI. Mathematically, these models capture VPI and have been determined to explain well-known polymer-precursor systems. However, for unknown polymer-precursor systems its efficacy is yet to be tested. This is because we do not fully understand which chemistries will lead to variations in reaction and diffusion rates. Therefore, to broaden the knowledge in the VPI community and create new fundamental understanding, new polymer-precursor systems need to be rigorously explored. These polymer-precursor systems will be deconvoluted using the reaction diffusion model created by Ren et al., to better understand how chemistries affect process kinetics and consequently structure-property relationships. The proposed work sets out to address this lack of information by creating a global understanding of VPI by exploring less understood and new polymer-precursor systems.