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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Characterization of Interfaces and Interphases in Polymeric Material Systems


Engineering Laboratory, Materials and Structural Systems Division

RO# Location
50.73.11.B4445 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Sung, Li-Piin 301.975.6737


The purpose of this research is to investigate the role of interfaces and interphases on the properties and performance (durability and appearance) of polymeric systems. This research area includes (1) development of nanoscale characterization techniques to measure mechanical, chemical, and rheological properties of microscopic volume elements with nanoscale spatial resolution using atomic force microscopy (AFM); nanoindention; and rheological metroloogies; and (2) metrology development of chemical nanoprobe microscopy evolving AFM technology such as chemical modified conventional AFM probes and carbon nanotube probes. These techniques will be used in combination with other surface characterization techniques, such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectrometer, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and near-field scanning optical microscopy with vibration spectroscopy detection through collaborations with NIST’s Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory, Physics Laboratory, and Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory. Examples of surfaces and interphases that will be investigated include (1) polymeric coatings (pigmented and unpigmented), (2) amorphous and semicrystalline polymers (homopolymers and rubber-modified), and (3) two-component polymer blends applied to inorganic and plastic substrates. Experimental information obtained regarding interfaces and interphases development will be used in numerical models to understand and predict interphase development from fundamental thermodynamic and kinetics principles.


Carbon nanotubes; Coatings; Interfaces; Interphases; Nanoindentation; Nanoscale; Numerical models; Polymer blend;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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