MRSECs support interdisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality while addressing fundamental problems in science and engineering that are important to society. Read about how MRSECs function along with opportunities they offer in research, collaboration, and outreach and professional development.
Researchers at UPenn investigate the fracture behavior of disordered polymer-infiltrated nanoparticle films (PINFs). Here, the extent of polymer confinement in PINFs was tuned over three orders of magnitude NPs of varying size and polymers with varying molecular weight. The results show that brittle, low molecular weight (MW) polymers can significantly toughen NP packings, and this toughening effect becomes less pronounced with increasing NP size.