Designing Optimal Nanoparticle Shapes and Ligand Parameters for Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticle Membranes
The project investigates a new class of polymer-grafted membranes that have the potential to improve gas separation characteristics for a wide range of applications in the environmental, energy, and chemical manufacturing areas. The polymer-grafted membranes consist of a matrix of inorganic nanoparticles with grafted polymer ligands that show improved separation characteristics compared to commonly used organic membranes. The project will use a combination of theoretical analysis, synthesis, and experimental evaluation to optimize both the nanoparticle shape and the polymer properties, while providing basic understanding of the mechanism by which the grafted structures improve separation efficiency. The project will also provide educational and outreach components including research opportunities for undergraduate students from Florida A&M University (a historically black college or university).