Skip to main content

Duncan Hill

Characterizing Styrenic Triblock Copolymer with Static Light Scattering

Duncan Hill ’24

Faculty Mentor(s):
Kenneth P. Mineart, Chemical Engineering
Funding Source:
Emerging Scholars – James L. D. and Rebecca Roser Research Fund

Light scattering refers to the process in which a wavelength of light hits a particle and scatters in a pattern. This pattern can be interpreted to allow us to understand the characteristics of said particle. For my research, we used a known measurement technique called static light scattering (SLS) which measures the intensity of this scattering at multiple angles and multiple concentrations. This technique allows us to calculate constants such as the molecular weight, the A2 virial coefficient, and radius of gyration of the scattered particle. Using this information, the measured polymer characteristics are used to explore the relationship between structure and behavior of the polymer. The instrument used for these measurements is the BI-200SM Goniometer. The beginning part of the research project was to assemble, align, and calibrate this instrument for use. As soon as the instrument was prepared, we performed the SLS procedure on multiple polymers supplied by Kuraray America and Kraton Polymers. Using solutions of known concentrations, and by measuring the scattered intensity at multiple angles, we are able to organize the data into a Zimm plot. This Zimm plot is organized such that we are able to easily determine the important constants of the polymers by observing the trendlines of the data. Seventeen different styrenic triblock polymers were characterized using this instrument. A procedure for future measurements using the instrument was also developed. This instrument is currently being used in further research opportunities of dynamic light scattering (DLS) behavior of polymer gels.

Comments are closed.