R. Konane Bay (email | web) is a Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Professor Sujit Datta's group in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton University. Her current research focuses on developing structure-property relationships of living biohybrid polymeric materials. She received her B.S. in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and M.S. and Ph.D. in Polymer Science & Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her Ph.D. thesis work in Professor Alfred Crosby's group focused on quantifying the mechanical properties of ultrathin polymer films. Konane is the recipient of the multiple awards for her Ph.D. research, including the ACS Eastman Chemical Student Award in Applied Polymer Science, Best Poster Award at the Annual Meeting of the Adhesion Society, and Frank J. Padden Jr. Award Finalist. Outside of research, she is one of the co-founders of the Early Career Researchers in Polymer Physics Slack and was the co-organizer of the 2020 Virtual Polymer Physics Symposium. During her free time, Konane enjoys playing tennis or editing Wikipedia.

Talk details: What controls failure in ultrathin polymer films?
We have developed a method to directly measure the uniaxial stress-strain response of ultrathin glassy polymer films. In our work, we quantify the influence of thickness (10nm-360nm), and molecular weight (61kDa-2135kDa) on the deformation and failure response of ultrathin polystyrene films. From our results, we develop a model that provides new fundamental insights into how polymer behavior is altered due to changes in the entanglements and mobility in a polymer network upon dimensional confinement.