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Predicting Nanostructures And Photonic Properties Of Block Copolymer Derived Materials

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Abstract

Bottom up type block copolymer (BCP) self-assembly and co-assembly are expected to provide facile routes to nanostructured materials for various, e.g. energy related and photonics, applications. In many of these experimental systems, chemical building blocks are complex organic/inorganic hybrid molecules such as ligandstabilized NPs. In particular, for complex multicomponent systems involving assembly of nanoparticles (NPs) and macromolecules, limited understanding of the role of such key factors has severely hampered progress. Despite progress in simulations and theories, structure prediction of selfassembled materials beyond simple model systems remain challenging. To this end, an efficient theoretical framework that unifies polymer field theory and density functional theory into a single method was presented in order to incorporate complex molecular details with key physical interactions. The method harnesses the efficiency of selfconsistent field theories and the flexibility of density functional theory and a generalized propagator method enabling the description of different types of components and interactions, i.e. it allows a level of complexity usually reserved to more costly molecular simulation treatments. Utilizing the method, design criteria for controlling a range of NP based nanomaterial structures were studied. As an application of BCP derived materials, their photonic properties were studied. Metamaterials, engineered metallic materials, offer new functionalities such as super-resolution imaging and cloaking. Despite considerable progress, finding efficient pathways towards 3-dimensionally isotropic metamaterials remains challenging thus hampering their practical applications. To this end, the photonic properties of 3-dimensionally isotropic metallic nanomaterials with the cubic double gyroid and the alternating gyroid morphologies were calculated. These materials can be obtained by block copolymer self-assembly with a unit cell significantly smaller than the free space wavelength of visible light. For double gyroid metamaterials, the materials parameters and design principles for negative-refractive index materials in the visible and near infrared spectrum were specifically identified. Lastly surface plasmon resonance phenomena of novel metamaterials were investigated. Especially, 3-dimensionally continuous metamaterials with the diamond cubic structure display both negative refractive index as well as complete surface plasmon band gaps in 3-dimensions. Results suggest further design criteria and indepth understandings for metamaterials exhibiting unusual optical properties.

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2013-01-28

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MATERIALS; block copolymer; THEORY; METAMATERIAL; PLASMONICS

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Wiesner, Ulrich B.

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Hennig, Richard G.
Escobedo, Fernando

Degree Discipline

Materials Science and Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D., Materials Science and Engineering

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document

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dissertation or thesis

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