Two scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are building a new class of environmentally friendly polymer materials (or polymer-based fluids) called complex coacervates that will contain solid nanoparticles. Supported by a three-year, $357,694 grant from the National Science Foundation, they also will uncover and chronicle the design rules for these materials creating a road map for further research in the field.
Sarah L. Perry, chemical engineering, and Maria M. Santore, polymer science and engineering, say coacervates are well known to scientists, but that it is not well known how extensively they can be modified for new uses. They also say there are no systematic and comprehensive rules for building these materials, so they will create these so-called rules of thumb for other researchers to follow.
Perry says coacervates have been around for decades, but there hasn’t been a concentrated effort to discover a wider range of applications. She says scientists tend to create these materials for a specific use but haven’t explored how complex or how sophisticated they can be.
Read full article at UMass News Office