Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name



Biomedical Sciences

Faculty Mentor

W. Matthew Reichert


Ionic liquids (ILs) are emerging as an eco-friendlier alternative to traditional organic compounds. The hope with ILs in this project is to incorporate them with resins used in 3D printing to act as plasticizers which will in turn help prolong the life of the printed object. A common issue with plasticizers like phthalate in particular is they can leach out of plastics due to their vapor pressure which leads to decreased performance and can also pose a health risk being released into its surroundings or atmosphere. A major benefit of incorporating ILs in with resins comes from their low volatility which allows it to remain in the plastic and can prevent the printed object from becoming prematurely brittle. In order to move forward in attempting to integrate ILs in with resin, one needs to understand what effect it has on the heat capacity and polymerization of the resin when combined is the next step. A possible means to study this effect is by measuring the change in temperature of a reaction that is container-less which can be accomplished through acoustic levitation. The aim for this research is to levitate droplets of ILs and methyl methacrylate-based resin in an acoustic levitator, expose the droplet to lasers in order to induce photoinitiated polymerization, and record the temperature change using a FLIR camera. Coupling this data with heat capacity measurements from the DSC will allow us to calculate the heat of polymerization of PMMA and to observe how different concentrations of IL affect the heat capacity and heat of polymerization.