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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R33380/01
Title: Fluctuations and Interfaces in Confined Near-Critical Polymeric Liqued Mixtures
Principal Investigator: Jones, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Sferrazza, Dr M Ryan, Professor AJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Surface Specialities PLC
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 18 March 2002 Ends: 17 March 2005 Value (£): 96,407
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics Manufacturing
Related Grants:
GR/R33373/01
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Feb 2001 Structural Materials - Feb 01 Deferred
Summary on Grant Application Form
We plan to study the phase behaviour and interfacial properties of confined liquid mixtures, primarily using polyolefins of controlled chain architecture as model liquids and a thin film geometry to provide confinement. Advances in polymer synthesis allow us to make pairs of polymers with precisely controlled molecular weight and thermodynamic interaction, while neutron reflectivity allows us to characterise internal interfaces within the thin films with sub-nanmeter resolution. An experimental program is planned which will allow us to answer fundamental questions about the phase behaviour of confined liquid mixtures. These include how the width of the interface depends on the distance from criticality both in situations where mean field theory is likely to be accurate and when bulk composition fluctutations are important, how the interface is modified by interfacial fluctuations and how these flucuations are themselves modified in confined systems by long-range and truncation forces, how surface fields affect the structure of the films, and how equilibrium is reached when the system is prepared in a non-equilibrium state and allowed to evolve.
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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk