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Post Doctor


PhD., Colorado School of Mines, 2009 (Chemistry&Geochemistry)
B.S., University of Arizona, 2001 (chemistry)

Coolbaugh Hall 334
1012 14th Street
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: (303) 995-2624

Coolbaugh Hall 327
Phone: (303) 273-3382
Fax: (303) 273-3629

Email Ray

Ray Runyon


Thermal field-flow fractionation (ThFFF) is a member of the field-flow fractionation family of separation techniques, and is commonly used to fractionate (separate) polymer samples for further characterization by multi-angle light scattering (MALS), photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS), or matrix assisted laser desorption/ ionization (MALDI).  ThFFF has advantages over size exclusion chromatography (SEC) because of its ability to handle high molecular weight samples, and its ability to separate samples based on both molecular diffusion, or chemical interaction between the sample and the solvent.  My research interest is in developing and implementing analytical techniques, like ThFFF, for the separation and characterization of new materials. 

     Copolymer materials are often designed and used for applications such as pressure sensitive adhesives, drug delivery systems or stimuli responsive materials.  My current research is focused on separating synthetic copolymers by exploiting differences in their thermal diffusion properties using ThFFF.  Separation in ThFFF depends on a balance between the thermal diffusion (DT) and molecular diffusion (D) of the molecule.  DT has been shown to be molecular weight independent for homopolymers, but DT of copolymers could be affected by differences in molecular composition, architecture, and molecular weight.  I am investigating the DT of both random and diblock synthetic acrylic copolymers in pure solvents, and the effect molecular weight has on DT of copolymers of similar composition. 

     Accurate D values are needed to obtain accurate DT values.  PCS is a commonly used analytical technique to measure D.  Recently, flow-through PCS instruments have been developed to measure D of molecules on-line in chromatography experiments.  Experiments have shown that D values for synthetic polymers in organic solvent measured in flow-through mode are comparable to D values measured in batch mode, and that the effect of flow rate is insignificant on the measure values.  D values measured in flow-through mode differed by less that 6% to those obtained by batch mode.  This allows D and DT for each fraction of a polymer sample to be measured on-line as it elutes the ThFFF channel. 

     The multi-component nature of this project focuses both on advancing the fundamental understanding of thermal diffusion, and on expanding the capability of industry to design new materials with specific properties by providing a technique that allows for more accurate characterization of these materials on the molecular level.  The success of this research project will enhance the design of new nanomaterials and supramolecules and their use in new consumer products. 


     My teaching responsibilities include qualitative and quantitative freshman chemistry labs, and sophomore organic chemistry labs.


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Phone: 303-273-3245 | Fax: 303-273-3629
Last updated 02/26/2010                                                              2006 The Williams Group