Date Thesis Awarded

4-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Chemistry

Advisor

Robert Orwoll

Committee Member

Richard Kiefer

Committee Member

Robert Hinkle

Committee Member

Robert Scholnick

Abstract

Space radiation continues to be a problem for sustained space travel, harming humans and sensitive machinery. Overcoming this barrier is crucial to NASA’s goals for manned missions to asteroids and Mars. Therefore, more research is needed in order to safely protect our missions. Passive shielding through high performance polymers shows promise in providing lightweight shielding and strength for spacecraft. This thesis focused on the novel synthesis of aromatic, hydrogen rich co-polyimides. It was shown that through thermal co-polymerization, favorable physical and chemical properties increased due to the presence of branching and/or crosslinking chains in the polymer matrix.

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