Dean Waldow's Research Group

Waldow Group Research Projects

Our group has a number of research directions broadly focused in the study of macromolecules.  The largest effort has been involved in the compatibilization of polymer blends with added copolymers both in the bulk and as a thin film. Other areas include the study of organic photovoltaic thin films, local segmental dynamics of copolymers in dilute solution, and the application of various synthetic technique to design and build specialty polymers and copolymers.

Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Polymer-based Battery Electrolyte Supports

More information about this topic is forthcoming.

Copolymer Compatibilization of Polymer Blends

Copolymers have often been used to compatibilize polymer blends through favorable interactions with the blend domains. One monomer of the copolymer will strongly interact with the phase rich in that same monomer and vice versa with the other monomer. We have traditionally studied two model polymer blend using polystyrene and polybutadiene with one model system having a low molecular weight allowing both the homogeneous and phase separated phased to be accessed. The other model system has molecular weights above their respective entanglement molecular weights restricting the accessible phase to only the phase separated region. We use 1) cloud point measurements, wide angle, dynamic, and static light scattering as well as small angle neutron scattering, 2) light microscopy (LM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), 3) Monte Carlo simulations, and 4) anionic and controlled radical synthetic techniques.

Polymer Thin Films: Polymer Blends and OPVs

My groups had studied local segmental dynamics of polybutadiene and PS/PB copolymers in dilute solution. This research is directed at understanding the cooperativity of local segmental transitions that take place especially in copolymer structures. C-13 spin-lattice (T1) relaxation is used to investigate these copolymer dynamics.

Polymer Synthesis

We have developed local expertise primarily in positive pressure living anionic polymerization and Grubbs-based ring opening metathesis polymerization. We have used anionic polymerization to make various homopolymers and di-, tri-, and tetra-block copolymers of butadiene and styrene. We also have been synthesizing many new homopolmer, block copolymer, and random copolymer materials using ROMP techniques with norbornene and oxanorbornene monomers we have synthesized in house.

Local Segmental Dynamics of Copolymers in Dilute Solution

My groups had studied local segmental dynamics of polybutadiene and PS/PB copolymers in dilute solution. This research is directed at understanding the cooperativity of local segmental transitions that take place especially in copolymer structures. C-13 spin-lattice (T1) relaxation is used to investigate these copolymer dynamics.