FURI | Spring 2021

A Fluorescent Technique for Sensing Melt Transitions of Semi-Crystalline Polymer Thin Films

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This research focuses on understanding the melting temperature and crystallization behavior at the interface of multi-layer semi-crystalline polymeric thin films using a location-specific fluorescence technique. The change in emission light intensity of a fluorescent dye-doped or labeled semicrystalline poly(L-lactic acid) film is monitored with increasing temperature. A melting transition region centered at ~170°C was characterized via this fluorescence technique for semicrystalline poly(L-lactic acid), consistent with that obtained by conventional differential scanning calorimetry. For future work, this fluorescence approach will be compared with the existing thermal analysis and crystallographic techniques for the polymer.

Student researcher

Christina Sims

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2022