Growing polymers of different lengths

It is hard to imagine everyday life without materials made of synthetic polymers. Clothes, car parts, computers or packaging — they all consist of polymer materials. Lots of polymers are present in nature, too, such as DNA or proteins. Polymers are built on a universal architecture: they are composed of basic building blocks called monomers.

Microsystem for faster, more sustainable industrial chemistry

The synthesis of plastic precursors, such as polymers, involves specialized catalysts. However, the traditional batch-based method of finding and screening the right ones for a given result consumes liters of solvent, generates large quantities of chemical waste, and is an expensive, time-consuming process involving multiple trials. Ryan Hartman, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at

Creating a nanoscale on-off switch for heat

Polymers are used to develop various materials, such as plastics, nylons, and rubbers. In their most basic form, they are made up of many of identical molecules joined together over and over, like a chain. If you engineer molecules to join together in specific ways, you can control the characteristics of the resulting polymer. Using

Covestro launches Addigy 3D printing brand at Formnext 2019

Covestro, a German manufacturer of high-performance polymers, has launched a new custom 3D printing brand named Addigy®. Debuting at Formnext 2019, Addigy® will focus on providing material solutions used in industrial 3D printing production. This includes polycarbonates, thermoplastic polyurethanes as well as polyurethane-based resins.  Such materials enable personalized properties and specific performances, such as toughness,

Method to change fundamental architecture of polymers

A Florida State University research team has developed methods to manipulate polymers in a way that changes their fundamental structure, paving the way for potential applications in cargo delivery and release, recyclable materials, shape-shifting soft robots, antimicrobials and more. “We are making a polymer completely change its architecture through a chemical response,” said FSU Assistant

Just add water: Simple step boosts polymer’s ability to filter CO2 from mixed gases

An international team of researchers has found it can significantly boost an existing polymer’s ability to selectively remove carbon dioxide (CO2) out of gas mixtures by first submerging the material in liquid water. “Normally, improving the permeability of a gas through a material impairs the material’s selectivity,” says Rich Spontak, co-corresponding author of a paper

Disappearing act: Device vanishes on command after military missions

A polymer that self-destructs? While once a fictional idea, new polymers now exist that are rugged enough to ferry packages or sensors into hostile territory and vaporize immediately upon a military mission’s completion. The material has been made into a rigid-winged glider and a nylon-like parachute fabric for airborne delivery across distances of a hundred