Materials World Network: The Subtle Balance Between Rigidity and Swelling in Functional Nanoporous Polymers

  • Colina, Coray M. (PI)
  • Runt, James Patrick (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

This Materials World Network project integrates and maximizes the interrelated, but distinct, areas of expertise of two research groups from the United States and three research groups from the United Kingdom to train undergraduate and graduate students in modern methods of experimentation, equation-of-state model development, and molecular simulation in a global environment. These research groups include researchers from Penn State in the U.S., and three different groups at the University of Manchester and Cardiff University in the U.K. The ultimate aim of this project is to develop fundamental understanding of structure-property relationships for nanoporous polymer-based materials trough experimental and computational procedures for use in applications that exploit their surface chemistry, that can range from catalysis, sensors and gas storage to separations, and hence to generate a sufficient knowledge base to develop polymer-based porous materials with controlled properties at the nano and macroscopic scales.

This research relies on the expertise of the research team that consists of: a) synthesis and characterization of NPs, including X-ray characterization of the microporous structure and evolution of the microporous environment when different molecules are adsorbed; b) modeling fluid/polymeric properties at molecular and macroscopic scales, to understand their structure, morphology, and properties. This combination of expertise allows us to generate the knowledge and know-how to develop appropriate structure-property relations that enables us to exploit the rigidity/softness relation and swelling properties of NPs to develop new technologies. Students are receiving significant training during the course of this program through close interactions with the PIs, regular attendance at group meetings, and discussions with other groups. Students are benefitting from the interaction and immersion in a global collaborative research with international experts that complement the intensive training in theory, simulation, and/or experiment that they receive at their home institutions.

This award is funded by the Division of Materials Research in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate (Polymers program and the Office of Special Programs).

Effective start/end date9/1/096/30/13


  • National Science Foundation: $616,000.00


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