Faculty Advisor

Iannacchione, Germano S.

Abstract

This project experimentally determined how the nematic-isotropic phase transitions of colloidal composites consisting of 5CB and C60 change as C60 mass concentration increases. Using MDSC comparisons of the concentration's reversible and nonreversible heat capacitance signals were analyzed which yielded values for phase transition temperature, enthalpy, and coexistence region of both phases. The analysis showed fluctuating results. Polarized light microscope images showed isolated domains of C60 and 5CB. A mechanically quenched macroscopic model of the composites was constructed and tested. Steric modeling confirmed that the local domains were due to the unique geometries of 5CB and C60 and that steric packing may account for the unexpected thermal results.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2010

Major

Physics

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Advisor Department

Physics

Share

COinS