Magnetically sensitive polymers Robert Uhrlass, Sean Woodward, Cristina Schlesier, Petr Shibaev, PhD Department of Physics Abstract Novel polymer composite films with unusual optical properties were designed and studied. The matrix of the composite material is silicone polymer and the filler is submicron or nano particles of ferromagnetic metals and/or metal oxides (Ni and Fe2O3). Composite materials were obtained via polymerization of silicone based monomers. Polymerization of the monomers was conducted in magnetic field that oriented metal particles inside the matrix, and polymer samples were prepared as thin films sandwiched between two glass plates. The samples have unusual optical properties: high optical anisotropy and peculiar dependencies of light transmission as a function of angle of incidence. Films are highly transparent at normal incidence of light and become opaque or/and dark when the angle of incidence increases. The distribution of nano particles inside the samples were studied by optical microscopy and atomic force microscopy. It was shown that at certain strength of magnetic field the particles penetrate the surface and form sharp “islands” above the surface. This results in anisotropic and increased surface adhesion at certain orientation of the particles. Films with different orientation of particles react differently to the presence of external magnetic field. Presenter Bio Robert Uhrlass is pursuing a major in physics at FCRH. He has participated in research under the guidance of Dr. Shibaev since he was admitted to Fordham University. Currently he is working on polymer composites displaying magnetic properties.