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Ionically Crosslinked Polymer Gels and Membranes

Kenneth R. Shull Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University

Triblock copolymers with poly(methyl methacrylate) endblocks and a poly(methacrylic acid) midblock make soft, highly extensible gels in water, with moduli in the kilopascal range. When crosslinked by the introduction of divalent ions including calcium and zinc, highly tough materials with a type of ’double network’ structure are formed. This talk will focus on the preparation and characterization of these materials, and on the properties of analogous ionically crosslinked membranes formed at oil/water interfaces.