In-house research facilities in the
polymer physics group at Tufts include systems for measuring two-dimensional
optical birefringence, electric dipole relaxation and thermally stimulated
depolarization currents, heat capacity and thermal properties. Wide angle
X-ray diffraction and molecular modeling capabilties also exist in the polymer
physics group. One fundamental problem we are studying is the kinetics of
phase transformation in polymers, and the competition between ordering (eg., isotropic-to-nematic-to-crystal) and phase separation
under the influence of external fields. In another project in the
nano-technology area, we are investigating the effects of restricted
dimensionality on the phase transformation kinetics in crystallizable thin
films. The research in this group is interdisciplinary in nature, combining
solid state physics with materials science. Recent students graduating with
the Ph. D. from this research group have been employed at
Patrick S. Dai, Peggy Cebe, Malcolm Capel, Rufina Alamo and Leo Mandelkern. “In-Situ Wide and Small Angle X-ray Scattering Study of Melting Kinetics of Isotactic Poly(propylene).” Macromolecules, 36(11), 4042-4050 (2003).
Baskaran Natesan, Hui Xu, B. Seyhan Ince, and Peggy Cebe. “Molecular Relaxation of Isotactic Polystyrene: Real-Time Dielectric Spectroscopy and X-ray Scattering Studies.” J. Poly. Sci., Poly. Phys. Ed., 42(5), 777-789 (2004).
Hui Xu and Peggy Cebe. “Heat Capacity Study of Isotactic Polystyrene: Dual Reversible Melting and Enthalpic Relaxation of Rigid Amorphous Phase.” Macromolecules, 37(8), 2797-2806 (2004).