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Andrew B. Croll

Degree Information:

B.Sc., Physics, Minor in Computer Science, University of Waterloo (2001)
Ph.D., Polymer Physics, McMaster University (2009)

Phone: 413-320-3810

Fax: 701-231-7088

Email: andrew.croll@NDSU.edu

Blog: http://crollgroupblog.blogspot.com/

Mailing Address:

Department of Physics

     

   

Materials and Nanotechnology

Room 212b,

South Engineering

Room 255,

Batcheller Technology Center

1211 Albrecht Blvd

18th St. North

Fargo, ND 58108-6050

or

Fargo, ND 58108

Research Interests:

Polymer Physics, Diblock Copolymers, Thin Films and Confinement, Membrane Geometry, Pattern Formation and Control, Instabilities, Wrinkling and Buckling, Stress Localization, Polymer Mechanics, Adhesion, Physics of Nano-Composite Materials, Capillarity, Polymer Fluid Dynamics, Friction.

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Current Research:

how do soft materials differ from hard materials?  Why do interfaces differ from the bulk?  Are there general rules that can be discovered to guide the design and use of soft materials in industry?  Our group explores these questions using polymers and assemblies of polymers that are well characterized and readily available.  We approach these goals from three main fronts:

Thin Block Copolymer Films:

With modern techniques creating and characterizing polymer films of nanoscopic thickness has become commonplace.  What has quickly become clear, is that there are many reasons that thin films differ in behavior from thick films.  Here we study these issues by using films with anisotropic internal structure (diblock copolymers), using other forms of confinement (droplets, or cylinders), and by manipulating the stress found within the materials.

Supramolecular Assemblies:

As anyone who has seen microscopic pictures of tissue can attest, there are many differences between a real tissue and our naive continuum approximation.  Inspired by this question, we examine an idealized system - block copolymer vesicles.  Polymersomes (as they are known) form analogously to the lipid vesicles, but are much stronger and allow for much chemical manipulation making them ideal for examining questions of adhesion, vitrification and failure.

Stress Localization:

When a sheet of paper is bent it is simple to see that the new shape is accommodated easily by the material.  However, if the paper is next bent in an orthogonal direction, it collapses into sharp points and folds.  The stress has been focused to a point rather than spread over the material simply because the sheet is stretched into a geometry of non-zero Gaussian curvature.  We examine what the general rules of such a transition might be, using an idealized buckling system - wrinkles!  Along more applied lines, we also are exploring how these 'localizations' can be used to create more robust patterns.

 

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