Virginia Tech students and faculty members are creating releasable coatings and thin films using the same chemistry that nature uses to bind the double helix of DNA.
They will present their research at the 227th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, Calif., March 28-April 1, 2004.
"We are coating a patterned surface with accepting molecules then applying donating molecules – that is, using molecular recognition -- to create a molecular zipper," explains Tim Long of Blacksburg, professor of chemistry in the College of Science at Virginia Tech.
Applications would be strong, multilayered structures that might be used for body armor, as well as for releasable coatings and films.
The researchers are using heterocycles – the same groups that bind strands of DNA. "They can be selected to recognize specific complementary groups based on the attributes desired," Long says.
The paper, "Multiple hydrogen bonding on surfaces (PMSE 135)," will be presented by Casey L. Elkins, a graduate student from Coopersville, Mich. Her co-authors are doctoral student Kalpana Viswanathan of Madras, India, Adhesive and Sealant Science Professor Thomas C. Ward of Blacksburg, Va., and Long. The presentation will be at 2:40 p.m. on Monday, March 29, at Coast Anaheim Hotel in the Park B room as part of the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering symposium on Functional Polymer Thin Films for Switching, Sensing, and Adaptive Applications.
Elkins received her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and Viswanathan received her master of science degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
Materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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