Facilities & Equipment

ProfessorRobin Hutchinson

Tel: (613) 533-3097
Fax: (613) 533-6637
Email: robin.hutchinson@queensu.ca

Office: Dupuis Hall 426

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Pulsed Laser Polymerization Setup

Our lab is equipped, thanks to a 2012 NSERC RTI grant, with a state of the art Xantos XS gas pulsed-laser which is capable of repetition rates up to 500 Hz. It enhances our capabilities to study the radical reaction kinetics of faster reacting monomers, even at elevated temperatures. The system is used to study the propagation kinetics of novel monomer systems, the influence of solvent choice on kinetics, and to investigate copolymerization kinetics.

Size Exclusion Chromatography

Our group has access to various SEC setups in the 4th floor polymers analysis laboratory. The workhorse, a Waters setup using THF as an eluent and equipped with a Waters DRI and Wyatt LS detector, is used to analyze our PLP-generated and many of our reactor samples. For THF-soluble samples of higher molar mass, a Malvern Viscotek setup is available with DRI, IVDP and LS detection, with an identical setup used to analyze more polar samples using DMF as solvent. An Agilent Infinity 1260 setup was recently purchased for aqueous SEC of water-soluble polymers.

Gas Chromatography

To detect low concentrated chemicals such as residual monomer or other impurities, our lab has access to a standard Varian-GC setup with an autosampler and FID detection.

Semi-Batch Setup

To mimic reactions under industrial conditions our lab is equipped with a 1L semi-batch automated well-mixed reactor system (LabMax) from MT-Autochem. The setup allows batch and starved feed conditions, and features an automated feeding system and excellent temperature control. Smaller semi-batch setups have been established to investigate Cu(0)-mediated polymerization and radical copolymerization in water-ethanol mixtures.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Located at the department of chemistry, our group has access to spectrometers starting from 300 MHz up to 600 MHz. The equipment is used to investigate conversions, compositions or detailed architectures of polymer samples synthesized in our other reaction systems. In addition, in-situ monitoring of batch copolymerization allows the simultaneous measurement of overall monomer conversion and comonomer composition drift. For further information, please check the NMR-webpage.

Modelling Software

Various simulation tools are used to model polymerization reaction systems, including PREDICI and MATLAB.

Chemical Engineering Analytical Facility

Located on the 4th floor of Dupuis Hall, the facility was established in 2002 with financial support from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Innovation Trust. The instrumentation provides the fundamental insight into the molecular and bulk physical properties of polymers needed to design novel materials and optimize their properties.