10th October 2012, 1pm
Foster Building Lecture Theatre 3
Block copolymer structures from computer modelling
Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky
Polymers are long chain molecules, which changed the way we live: we cannot even imagine our life without all the plastic around us. Common plastics are composed of molecules consisting of chemical monomers of one type. If we bound two or more chemically different polymer chains into one macromolecule, we get a block copolymer. At certain conditions (such as temperature) block copolymers have a natural tendency to self-assemble into the ones of most spectacular structures in our universe. These structures are formed at the nanoscale and are important in the so called soft nanotechnology. In this introductory lecture, which will be also suited for undergraduate students, the world of block copolymers will be enlightened with the help of modern supercomputers. We will see how the computer modelling can guide experiments and explain some experimental puzzles.