Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Polymers and Coatings


Chemistry & Biochemistry


Erik D. Sapper


Understanding aging mechanisms in coatings during their servicable life is complicated, due to the inherent stochastic nature of exposure profiles, service environments, and rare weather events. Thus, the development of improved test methods for service life prediction and accelerated weathering relies on the availability of infallible degradation and exposure data, delivered as a function of cumulative time in service. In a related application, non-destructive evaluative methods rely on the premise of being able to probe or monitor in situ mechanisms within a coating system without interfering with actual aging mechanisms. Ultimately, quantumdots can be utilized as in situ sensors for the detection, ongoing monitoring, and quantification of environmental exposure and degradation of coating systems exposed to humidity, moisture, electrolyte, and ultraviolet radiation cycles. Synthetic pathways for producing formulation-ready quantum dots are presented, along with preliminary results from controlled exposure and degradation studies. Current and ongoing work involves extending this technology to industrial non-destructive evaluation and coating health monitoring applications.