Interrogating the dynamics of conjugated polymers using neutron scattering and molecular dynamics

Research Group: 
Materials Research Institute
Number of Students: 
Length of Study in Years: 
Full-time Project: 
Project Description: 
The electronic and optical properties of conjugated polymers depend critically upon the structures adopted by the polymer chains and the structural dynamics. One of the most powerful probes of molecular structure and dynamics is neutron scattering (NS), where the interactions of neutrons with the polymer backbone and side chains can be measured as a function of temperature. Different techniques of NS allow to probe the structure and dynamics in different environments. Quasi-elastic neutron scattering (QENS) probes the polymer dynamics, inelastic neutron scattering is used to probe vibrational modes, while small angle neutron scattering (SANS) is used to probe the conformation of chains, for example, whether rigid or coiled. Despite of their potential, NS methods have seldom been applied to conjugated polymers partly because of the limited access to the hosting large scale facilities, and also because the interpretation of resulting data is complex.
Supervised by Prof Jenny Nelson (Physics, Imperial College) and Dr Christian Nielsen. For more information, please contact Prof Jenny Nelson via e-mail
SPA Academics: 
Christian Nielsen
External Academics: 
Prof Jenny Nelson