Ionic and nonionic polymer gels
A wide variety of applications from drug delivery and artificial tissues to sensors and actuators require responsive, "smart" materials. Polyelectrolyte hydrogels show a great sensitivity to stimuli in that small changes in electric potential, salt concentration, or solvent composition can induce dramatic volume changes. These materials have been shown to mimic the response of nerve and muscle tissue to identical stimuli. The goal of this research is to use dynamic light scattering to catalog the effects of molecular architecture and chemical environment on the properties of polymer hydrogels. This will reveal the underlying physics of these systems, so that future materials can be designed to exhibit desired, tunable responses.
Condensed matter physics;
0611: Condensed matter physics
0794: Materials science