Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New MIT Probe Gathers Data For Better Polymers

Date:
September 1, 1999
Source:
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Summary:
In work that could lead to superior varieties of nylon and other commercially important polymers, MIT engineers have developed the first probe that can detect the motion of molecules in these materials as they are being stretched.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass -- In work that could lead to superior varieties of nylon and other commercially important polymers, MIT engineers have developed the first probe that can detect the motion of molecules in these materials as they are being stretched.

"We want to understand on a molecular level what allows a polymer to stretch and deform," said Associate Professor Karen K. Gleason of the Department of Chemical Engineering, who will give a talk on the work August 25 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Understanding such molecular details "will allow us to design these materials from a fundamental viewpoint," Professor Gleason said, which could in turn improve their mechanical properties. Historically, polymeric materials with specific properties have been created by trial and error with little knowledge of exactly why a given formulation works.

The new probe combines a stretching device with the electronics for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. NMR probes for exploring polymers, materials composed of chains of repeating subunits, are common. Until now, however, all focused on a given material before or after it was stretched, or put under stress. The MIT instrument is the first to detect what's happening during the process.

"We're trying to capture the motion of the polymer while it's actively being deformed," Professor Gleason said, "rather than looking at a 'dead' sample, or one in which deformation--and motions--have ceased."

The stretching device and polymer sample, inside a tube about 3 feet long by 3 inches in diameter, are placed within the NMR spectrometer's superconducting magnet. As the polymer is pulled, NMR captures its molecular motions. "These two techniques have been used individually to study polymers, but until now they haven't been used together," Professor Gleason said.

The researchers are currently using the probe to study man-made polymers like nylon. Professor Gleason noted, however, that it might have applications to different systems. For example, other researchers might want to look at active changes in biopolymers like cartilage.

Her colleagues in the work are Robert E. Cohen, the Raymond A. and Helen E. St. Laurent Professor of Chemical Engineering, and chemical engineering graduate student Leslie S. Loo. Professor Gleason noted that the research is part of an interdisciplinary research group at MIT on the rational design of polymeric materials that is led by Professor Mary Boyce of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The work is sponsored by the NSF through MIT's Center for Materials Science and Engineering.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "New MIT Probe Gathers Data For Better Polymers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990901075928.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. (1999, September 1). New MIT Probe Gathers Data For Better Polymers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990901075928.htm
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "New MIT Probe Gathers Data For Better Polymers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990901075928.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins