Surface and interfacial properties of polymers, phase transitions in polymers, directed self-assembly processes, the use of polymers as scaffolds and templates for the generation of nanoscopic structures, the interfacial assembly of nanoparticles, hierarchical ordering of synthetic and biologically-based systems, wrinkling and crumpling of thin polymer films, polymers in ionic liquids, and the structure and morphology of polymer-based photovoltaic materials.
Polymers and block copolymers offer unique avenues for the fabrication of nanostructured materials. Over the past decade we have been developing routes and understanding the mechanism by which the orientation of the morphology in thin block copolymer films can be controlled with exquisite precision. This has given rise to a plethora of applications of polymers in current technologies. Efforts in our group have recently focused on: developing large scale arrays of nanoscopic elements using block copolymers having exceptional long-range order and, by chemical modification of the polymer; minimizing the size scale of the elements; simplifying the fabrication process; and, by use of supercritical fluid (SCF) CO2, performing spatially-specific metallization chemistries within the microphase separate morphologies. We are currently exploring electronic, magnetic, biological and sensory applications of the scaffolds and templates that are generated. In addition, by understanding the interfacial activity of nanoparticles we are developing routes to achieve multi-length scale ordering of nanoparticles that are emerging as interesting platforms for encapsulation and diffusion barriers. By use of electrostatic pressures at polymer interfaces we are also studying the enhancement of interfacial fluctuations and routes by which the lateral length scale and amplitudes of the fluctuations can be controlled. Finally, both hydrostatic pressure and SCF CO2 are being used to control the phase behavior in entropically driven phase transitions in polymer mixtures and block copolymers, discovered in our group, and on are recently discovered closed-loop phase diagram. Optical, laser scanning confocal, electron and scanning force microscopies, and neutron (reactors and spallation sources), light and x-ray scattering (in-house and synchrotron-based) are key techniques used in these studies.
Overview of past and ongoing research:
Fred Kavli Lecture in 2012 Spring MRS Meeting, San Francisco, CA
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1. Polymer Thin Films, with O.K.C, World Scientific, 2008
2. Multicomponent Polymer Systems, with D. Lohse and L. Sperling, Plenum Publishers, NY, 1997
3. Neutron Scattering in Materials Science, with D. Neuman and B. Wuensch, Materials Research Society Press, Pittsburgh, PA. 1995
4. Scattering, Deformation and Fracture, with G. D. Wignall, B. Crist and E. L. Thomas, Materials Research Society Press, Pittsburgh, PA, 1986
5. Comprehensive Polymer Science - 2nd edition, Elsevier Ltd, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, in production.
1. Emrick, T.S., Russell, T.P., Dinsmore, A., Skaff, H. and Lin, Y.,” Liquid-liquid interfacial nanoparticle assemblies,” 2008, University of Massachusetts: US 7,470840 B2.
2. Hedrick, J.L., Hofer, D.C., Labadie, J.W., Prime, P.B., and Russell, T.P., "Foamed Polymers for Use as a Dielectric Material," 1998, IBM: US.05776990.
3. Mayes, A.M., Ruzette, A.-V., T.P. Russell and Banerjee, P., “Baroplastic Materials,” Patent No. US 6,632,883, Oct. 14, 2003.
4. Tuominen, M. Schotter, J., Thurn-Albrecht, T. and Russell, T. P., "Nanocylinder Arrays," Patent No. US 7,190,049 B2 March 13, 2007
5. Tuominen, M., Russell, T.P., Bal, M., Ursache, A., "Nanofabrication," Patent No. US 7,189,435 B2, March 13, 2007.
6. Schaffer, E., Mlynek, J., Steiner, U., Thurn-Albrecht, T. and Russell, T. P., “Methods and Apparatus for Forming Submicron Patterns on Films,” US 6,391,217, May 21, 2002.
7. Lutkenhaus, J and Russell, T.P., “Poly(vinylidene fluoride) – Containing Nanotubes and Nanorods as Stimuli – Responsive Surfaces,” Patent Application, UMA 08-10, 2008.
8. Park, S., Russell, T.P., Wang, J.-Y., Kim, B., “From Nanorings to Nanodots by Patterning with Block Copolymers,” Patent Application, UMA 09-08, 2008.
9. Russell, T.P., Park, S., Xu, T., “A Route to 10 Terabit/in2 Templates and Scaffolds Using Thin Films of Block Copolymers,” Patent Application, UMA 08-47, 2008.
10. Tew, G.N., Al-Badri, Z., Shunmugam, R. and Russell, T.P., “Ferromagnetic materials via direct assembly of block copolymers: Design and uses thereof,” USA, University of Massachusetts, Filed 2008.
11. Russell, T.P., Park, S, Xu, T. and Lee D.H., “Self-assembly of block copolymers on topographically patterned polymeric substrates,” USA, UMA 0028US, Provisional Application filed 2009.
12. Yavuzcetin, O., Tuominen, M.T. and Russell, T.P., “Index-tuned Antireflective Coating using a Nanostructured Metamaterial,” Patent Application USSN 12/212,240, 2008.
13. Russell, T.P., Park, S., Wang, J.-Y., Kim, B. “Method of Producing Nanopatterned Articles and Articles Produced Thereby,” Application #12566705. Filed 9/25/2009, Published 4/8/2010.