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Enhancing polymer stability via extreme nanoconfinement

Technology Overview:  
Polymers are an important class of materials with applications in almost all aspects of life. Based on the chemicals used, a polymeric material can have a wide range of properties as well as costs. High thermal or chemical stability is highly desired in:

  • Coatings
  • Organic electronics
  • Flame-retardant materials
  • Chemical safety equipment

Traditionally, in order to increase the stability of the material, much more expensive components or additives need to be used to create it. This is a significant obstacle for commercial potential of many polymeric materials as it increases costs of production. 

The newly developed methodology overcomes this obstacle by significantly increasing the chemical and thermal stability of a polymer without expensive additional chemicals. This is done via the nanoconfinement of the material between inert nanoparticles during deposition, which drastically increases the surface area of the material, thereby changing its physical properties. By increasing the stability of the material without using the costly additives, this methodology is extremely attractive for both small- and large-scale applications.  

Graph of technology methodology

Schematic representation of the sample preparation and isothermal degradation measurements of PS/SiO2 CaRI samples.

Applications:  

  • Thermally stable materials and coatings
  • Photo-stable materials and coatings
  • Organic electronics
  • Flame-retardant materials
  • Chemical safety equipment

Advantages: 

  • Enhanced thermal stability
  • Increased activation energy
  • Enhancements are purely from nanoconfinement and without additives

Stage of Development: 

  • Material has been synthesized and characterized
  • Some mechanisms of the behavior are under investigation

Intellectual Property: 
Provisional Patent Filed

 

Reference Media: 
Wang et. al, “Thermal Degradation of Polystyrene under Extreme Nanoconfinement”, ACS Macro Letters, 8, 11, 1413-1418 (2019)
 

Desired Partnerships: 

  1. License
  2. Co-development

Docket # 18-8603, 20-9156 


Patent Information:
Category(s):
Materials
For Information, Contact:
Qishui Chen
Licensing Officer, SEAS/SAS Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania
215-898-9591
qchen1@upenn.edu
Inventors:
Zahra Fakhraai
Daeyeon Lee
Haonan Wang
Jyo Lyn Hor
Keywords: