Studies of spinodal decomposition in a ternary polymer-solvent-nonsolvent system

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Department of Chemical Engineering


Much of the work in modeling and computer simulation of spinodal decomposition has been done for binary systems. This work attempts to carry out the analysis of spinodal decomposition in ternary polymer-solvent-nonsolvent systems, where the solvent is the monomer used to produce the polymer and the nonsolvent is the major component. Various experimental methods are used to determine values of the parameters of the ternary version of the Cahn-Hilliard equation of spinodal decomposition, such as cloudpoint experiments, time-resolved light scattering in the ternary system, and morphological development of polymer membranes formed during the early stages spinodal decomposition. The combination of these experimental methods and computer simulation work shows the validity of the assumptions made in characterizing spinodal decomposition in ternary polymer systems of interest.

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Polymer Engineering and Science