Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Molecular design of crosslinked copolymers
by Eslick, John, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2009, 147; 3339397
Abstract (Summary)

A complete methodology for the computational molecular design (CMD) of crosslinked polymers is developed and implemented. The methodology is applied to the design of novel polymers for restorative dental materials. The computational molecular design of crosslinked polymers using optimization techniques is a new area of research. The first part of this project seeks to develop a novel data structure capable of adequately storing a complete description of the crosslinked polymer structure. Numerical descriptors of polymer structure are then calculated from the data structure. Statistical methods are used to relate the structural descriptors to experimentally measured properties. An important part of this project is to show that useful property prediction models can be developed for crosslinked polymers. Desirable property target values are then set for a specific application. Finally, the structure-property relations are combined with a Tabu search optimization algorithm to design improved polymers. Tabu search allows much flexibility in the problem formulations, so a major goal of this project is to show that Tabu search is a effective method for crosslinked polymer design.

To implement the molecular design procedure, a software package is developed. The software allows for easy graphical entry of polymer structures and property data, and contains a Tabu search optimization routine. Since computational molecular design of crosslinked polymers is a relatively new area of research, the software is designed to be easily modified to allow for extensive numerical experimentation.

Finally, the computational design methodology is demonstrated for the design of polymers for restorative dental applications. Using the computational molecular design methodology developed in this project, several monomers are found that may offer a significant improvement over a standard HEMA/bisGMA formulation. The results of the case study show that the new data structure for crosslinked polymers is effective for calculation of topological descriptors and property models can be developed for crosslinked polymers. Tabu search is also shown to be an effective optimization method.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Camarda, Kyle
Commitee: Bayer, Margaret, Bishop, Kenneth, Gehrke, Stevin, Scurto, Aaron
School: University of Kansas
Department: Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
School Location: United States -- Kansas
Source: DAI-B 69/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Chemical engineering
Keywords: Cross-linked copolymers, Restorative dental materials
Publication Number: 3339397
ISBN: 9780549958833
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