Microwave Assisted Preparation of Materials

Microwave (MW) assisted preparation of materials has become of great interest both technologically and scientifically since the first MW-assisted synthesis pioneered in 1986.  Although the use of MW-assisted preparation of materials has increased significantly in recent years, in part due to the dramatic acceleration of reaction kinetics and improved yields observed years, in part due to the dramatic acceleration of reaction kinetics and improved yields observed using this method, its appropriate application and material response is poorly understood.  One area of interest that is even less understood than the bulk materials response to MW treatments is how it affects the physical and chemical properties of the materials surface.  In order to realize the full potential of MW-assisted materials preparation techniques for enhancing/manipulating materials surface and interfacial properties, it is vital to understand their effects on the molecular-level properties (i.e. surface structure, functinality and interactions) that govern their macroscopic behavior.

The objective of this effort is to investigate and characterize the effects of MW-assisted preparation of various polymeric and mineral materials using vibrational sum frequency generation spectroscopy.  This effort is intended to develop a molecular-level understanding of the effects of MW-assisted preparation methods on the surface structure, functionality and interactions of polymeric and mineral materials.  Insight gleaned from this effort is being compared and and controled with previously investigated materials prepared using traditional convection heating (annealing/sintering) to better comprehend the benefits and/or drawbacks of employing MW-assisted methods on materials of interest to the DOD.

 
 
 
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