The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering welcomes Dr. Pinar Akcora, an Associate Professor for the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the Stevens Institute of Technology.
Her seminar titled, “Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticle Structures in Ionic Liquids”, will take place on Thursday, April 4 from 2:00-3:00 P.M.
Polymer grafted magnetic nanoparticles are a comprehensive model system offering both anisotropic and isotropic interactions that can be tuned with particle size, particle functionality and external magnetic fields. Our group works on understanding the role of ionic, magnetic and isotropic attractive interactions to elucidate the formation of self-assembled structures in solutions and in melts. I will describe a new system of ion-containing block copolymer-grafted nanoparticles with low graft densities to explore their potentials as polyelectrolyte membranes for their applications of electrochemical devices. I will present the SAXS, TEM and conductivity results of the copolymer grafted nanoparticles in imidazolium-type ionic liquids. The grafted particles are shown to form monolayers at very low sulfonations and planar-like networks at higher sulfonation (3 mol%) in the ionic liquid. Organization of polymer-grafted nanoparticles in ionic liquids is shown to improve the conductivity values relative to the pure ionic liquid. I will then present the consequences of these particle structures on the molecular dynamics of ionic liquids. These results enable us to propose that ion transport mechanism can be controlled through polymer coupling process using protic and zwitter ionic liquids.
Pinar Akcora received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Maryland-College Park in 2005. She completed her post-doctoral work at Columbia University between 2005-2008. She joined University of Missouri-Columbia, Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor in 2008 and has moved to Stevens in 2010. She is the recipient of NSF-CAREER award in 2010. She currently serves as the coordinator of the Nanotechnology Graduate Program at Stevens.