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Summary

There is always a degree of uncertainty surrounding measurements of polymeric materials, especially complex mixtures of with varying distributions in chemistry, sequence, and architecture among polymer chains. The ability to accurately characterize complex polymers and quantify structure-property relationships has always been convoluted by the innate heterogeneity of the material, the limitations of the chosen measurement method, and any applied external stimuli.  Model materials, with limited heterogeneity, and systematically varied chemistries and chain topologies can validate where the uncertainty lies within measurement methods and be used to develop new measurements to target existing areas where measurements are qualitative or inconclusive. This research involves design of model materials and methods that minimize heterogeneity and permit investigations of solution and bulk properties with systematic changes in material composition. 

 

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This project covers four main research thrusts: model polymers for systematic investigation of material properties, characterization of ocean plastics, model bottle brushes and bottle brush networks for ultra-soft materials, and immobilized peptides for surface sensing platforms