Seminar - “pH-Controlled Complex Formation in Charged Polymer Systems” by Kenneth R. Shull, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL USA

Thursday, July 14, 2016 3:30 pm - 3:30 pm EDT

ABSTRACT:  Complexes formed in systems containing both positive and negative charges are of fundamental importance in a variety of materials applications.  A common method for producing polyelectrolyte complex films is to sequentially deposit oppositely charged polymers, an effective but tedious process that is not readily scalable.  A focus on this talk is on the deposition of relatively thick films directly onto conducting surfaces, using electrochemical processes to modulate the local pH.  The process is carried out on a quartz crystal microbalance, which in addition to acting as a mass sensor is utilized as a high-frequency rheometer for characterization of the deposited film.

Bio-sketch:  Ken Shull is Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. His research interests involve the interfacial properties of polymers, with a particular emphasis on adhesion, fracture and the behavior of thin films and coatings. Recent interests include the large-strain deformation and fracture behavior of ‘soft’ materials including polymer nanocomposites, the interfacial behavior of biopolymers, and advanced uses of the quartz crystal microbalance.

He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Materials Science from MIT, followed by a Ph.D. in Materials Science from Cornell University, which he received in 1990. He worked as a research staff member at the IBM Almaden Research Center for 3 years before joining Northwestern University in 1993. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Adhesion Society.

He is a past president of the Adhesion Society,  served as chair of the Adhesion Gordon Research Conference for 2013, and is the 2016 recipient of the Adhesion Society Award for Excellence in Adhesion Society.