Sundberg Research

The research program objectives in my group center on the competitive roles of polymerization reaction kinetics and polymer chain diffusion for a variety of applications, the most important of which is the control of properties of synthetic latex polymer particles. This requires the application of careful experimentation, quantitative fundamental modeling at the nano-scale, and reliable characterization of the chemical and physical properties of polymers. Some key areas of research are listed below.

  1. Morphology control in composite latex particles

    This is a rich area of research that includes polymerization reactions in both the aqueous and organic phases, oligomer and polymer chain diffusion within highly viscous latex particles, polymer-polymer phase separation and late stage ripening (Ostwald) within ~ 50-200 nm particles, and interfacial thermodynamic equilibrium considerations:

    • Styrene/Acrylic composite systems – applications to coatings, adhesives, impact modifiers
    • Polyurethane/Acrylic hybrid latices
    • Functional monomer additives (vinyl acids, hydroxyl acrylates, amines)
    • Hydroplasticization of polymers, especially in latex form

  2. Water whitening (blushing) of polymer films
  3. Zero VOC waterborne coatings
  4. Latex film formation dynamics and mechanisms
  5. Analytical methods for characterization of composite latex particles
  6. Interactive computer models for:
  7. • Morphology development in latex particles during and after reaction
    • Latex film formation dynamics