Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor’s name: Dr. Giuseppe Palmese
Research title: Using Ionic Liquids to Simultaneously Disperse Nanoparticles and Initiate Polymerization of an Epoxy
Lab Website: http://www.chemeng.drexel.edu/GSA/
E-mail address: email@example.com
Undergraduate institution: Drexel University, Chemical and Biological Engineering
- “Ionic Liquid Dispersion of SWNT and Polymerization of Epoxy,” Army Research Labs Materials Center of Excellence, Aberdeen, MD, November 2010 (poster)
- “Reinforcement of a Porous Polymer Matrix by SWNT and Vinyl Ester Resin,” Army Research Labs Materials Center of Excellence, Aberdeen, MD, November 2010 (poster)
- “Characterization of Porous Epoxy-Amine-Carbon Nanotube Systems,” SAMPE, Seattle, WA, May 2010 (oral)
- “Ionic Liquid SWNT Epoxy Composites,” Army Research Labs Materials Center of Excellence, Aberdeen, MD, November 2009 (poster)
Research: Room temperature ionic liquids offer a new way to homogeneously disperse SWNTs in polymer systems while simultaneously initiating epoxy polymerization. The small particle size of SWNT minimizes disruption of the polymer matrix, while high surface area increases the interactions between the polymer and the SWNTs. The resulting composite materials show improved modulus, fracture toughness, thermal and electrical conductivity while maintaining a glass transition temperature comparable to the neat epoxy. This non-volatile solvent process creates nanocomposites with simplified processing and improved interfacial interactions. The nanocomposite enables control of desired material properties including mechanical, thermal and electrical by varying parameters such as particle size, surface area of the nanoparticle and the strength of the interfaces.
In order to develop a successful nanoparticle composite, control needs to be exerted over the carbon nanotube alignement, placement and dispersion to maximize final mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. Maximization is achieved by functionalization and processing the nanoparticle in the polymeric host material. Once the processing steps of the material are developed, the polymeric system is designed to become a porous system, which is infiltrated with various materials to further alter the final nanocomposite. Challenges to overcome include demonstrating that nanotechnology based materials, devices and systems can reliably have a long lifetime and execute missions under extreme conditions as well as the ability to reliably and consistently control functional material synthesis and assembly of the composites from the nanoscale to the macroscale.
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