|Professor Lipson received her B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. She then became a NATO Science Fellow, working with Professor W.H. Stockmayer at Dartmouth College. She began her faculty career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph, but returned to Dartmouth, where she has remained. Honours have included the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, The Arthur K. Doolittle Award of the ACS, Fellowship in the American Physical Society, and election as Chair of the Polymer Physics Gordon Conference and, most recently, as Chair (for 2011/12) of the Polymer Physics Division of the American Physical Society. She is the Albert W. Smith Professor of Chemistry, and is also an Associate Editor for Macromolecules.|
Position: Albert W. Smith Professor of Chemistry
E-Mail: Jane E. G. Lipson
Much of the chemical industry is focused on the formulation and application of polymers, and yet the connection between microscopic structure and bulk properties is still not well understood. This presents an opportunity, and in my research group we use theory and simulation to study the effect on thermodynamic properties of changing the chemical nature of a component, as well as such variables as molecular weight, temperature and pressure. We are interested in polymer melts, solutions, and mixtures, as well as glasses and polymeric thin films.
We use the strategies of statistical mechanics as well as simulation methods. A snapshot of work currently going on includes: examining the effects of deuteration on miscibility; investigating the effects of short branches on the entropy and enthalpy of mixing for hydrocarbon mixtures (from alkanes to polyolefins); modeling the glass transition of polymer-diluent mixtures, and studying the effect going from bulk to a thin film on the polymeric glass transition. A short description of several of these topics follows:
Polymer thin films are the subject of significant interest due to their potential for application in areas such as optics, catalysis, and electronics, as well as their ubiquitous presence in polymer nanocomposites. The recent observation that the presence of a substrate and/or a free surface may have a long-range and significant impact on the glass transition of the polymer has stimulated a whole new area of research. At its glass transition a polymer transforms from a glassy to a rubbery solid, a phenomenon which is usually explained through local relaxations. The fact that shifts in the glass transition of polymeric films may persist over tens of nanometers from the surface or substrate requires a new perspective. We are working on a new model for the glass transition of thin film polymers which will address both the magnitude of the temperature shifts and the length scales over which they occur.
A second area of research focuses on the application of our simple lattice theory to several outstanding problems in polymer mixtures: One is the impact of deuteration and local branching on the miscibility of polymer solutions and blends. The replacement of hydrogen for deuterium is required in small angle neutron scattering experiments, which are a popular and useful means of studying such systems. This isotopic exchange has an impact on miscibility which apparently ranges from essentially nil to extremely significant. Another local change which can result in measurable shifts in miscibility is the incorporation of branches. These variations in local chain connectivity are characteristic of polyolefins, which have wide industrial application.
Last Updated: 10/22/13