Skip to content

Dr. Nancy R. Sottos

Dr. Nancy R. Sottos

Dr. Nancy R. Sottos
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Presenting in Track 12: Mechanics of Solids, Structures, & Fluids

Sponsor: Applied Mechanics Division

Presentation Title: Molecularly Architected Polymers Enabled by Frontal Polymerization

Abstract: Materials with hierarchical architectures that combine soft and hard material domains with coalesced interfaces possess superior properties compared to their homogeneous counterparts. This talk describes the control of material properties through morphogenic pattern formation during frontal polymerization of polycyclooctadiene (pCOD). Tuning of the reaction kinetics and thermal transport gives rise to spin mode instabilities and the formation of amorphous and semi-crystalline domains emerging from the internal interfaces generated between the solid polymer and the propagating cure front. The size, spacing, and arrangement of the domains are controlled by the interplay between the reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, and boundary conditions. Small perturbations in the boundary conditions and resin formulation lead to significant changes in the tensile strength, elastic modulus, and toughness of molecularly architected polymers for three different initiators at similar heat of fusion. This ability to control mechanical properties and performance solely through the initial conditions represents a significant advancement in the design and manufacturing of advanced multiscale materials.

Biography: Nancy Sottos holds the Maybelle Leland Swanlund Endowed Chair and is Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. She is leader of the Autonomous Materials Systems (AMS) group at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and director of the University of Illinois spoke of the BP International Center for Advanced Materials. Sottos is also a co-founder of the start-up companies Autonomous Materials Inc. (AMI) and RapiCure Solutions. The Sottos group develops polymers and composites capable of self-healing and regeneration, self-reporting, and self-protection to improve reliability and extend material lifetime. Her current research interests focus on circular additive and morphogenic manufacturing strategies for polymeric and composite materials with programmed end of life. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also a Fellow of the Society for Experimental Mechanics, the Society for Engineering Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.