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NEWS PolyFilm2008 Conference: An international conference covering thin polymer films including polymer crystallisation, polymer brushes, glass transition, soft nanotechnology.
September 8-12, 2008, Sheffield.

Polymers are large molecules of massive scientific and technological importance. In film form they have uses in many industries as coatings, insulating layers, lubrication, and adhesion for example. These films can very often be as thin as, or thinner than, the size of polymer chains which means that they can no longer be expected to exhibit three dimensional ("bulk") behaviour.

Polymer film dewetting.

PolyFilm is a European Community-funded Framework 6 Research Training Network with the aim of studying many properties of confined polymer films.

Confinement affects many thin film properties including: molecular conformation; diffusion processes, including the internal motion (dynamics) of polymer chains; film structure and morphology; the glass transition of polymer films. It is also possible to change the structure of thin polymer films using a variety of external stimuli (pH, temperature, electric fields, vapour environment, and so on) and these can be used to provide reversible ("switchable") behaviour. Wherever possible we shall compare our confined polymers with "bulk" behaviour.

To achieve this, we are employing three postdoctoral ("experienced") researchers and twelve graduate researchers ("early stage", most, if not all, of whom will be undertaking PhD work) in five European countries covering 12 different research groups. For more details of the Framework 6 Marie Curie Actions,
see www.cordis.lu/fp6/mobility.htm.

Above right: A polymer film peeling from its substrate ('dewetting').

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Funded by the EC's Framework 6 programme.
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