Multi-Scale Modeling of Ionic Liquid Dispersed Nanocomposites in Epoxy Resin James A. Throckmorton. and Giuseppe R. Palmese Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA Epoxy resins boast impressive rigidity, thermal and electrical resistance, and an easily controlled casting process. Unmodified, however, such resins are extremely susceptible to crack propogation. When dispersed in discrete form throughout the thermoset, a less rigid second phase that minimally disrupts the underlying epoxy matrix can change the nature of the material from a brittle, single-phase system to a multiphase system with increased fracture toughness. Nanoparticles, possessing a high surface area to size ratio, are often excellent fillers for such systems. Depending on their interactions with the epoxy matrix, such particles offer great gains in material properties at small volume fractions. Recent research by our lab has demonstrated that ionic liquids can simultaneously disperse such nanoparticles within an epoxy matrix and initiate epoxy cure polymerization. This dual functionality creates a material with a unique interphase created by the interactions between the nanoparticles, ionic liquid solvent, and epoxy resin. This study examines those interactions experimentally and conceptually. Epoxy cures over a range of nanoparticle and ionic liquid volume fractions are analyzed for glass transition and mechanical properties. Critical molecular interactions parameters, including kinetic rate constants and diffusion behavior are analyzed using time-resolved Fourier Transform Infrared Attenuated Total Reflectance Spectrometry (FTIR-ATR). From these parameters and the properties of the cured material, multi-scale models are developed to explore the interphase between the nanoparticle and the epoxy matrix, the relationship between physical properties at the continuum and micro-scale, the degree of cross-linking as a function of kinetic and diffusion parameters, and the time and temperature dependent degree of cure.