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Nanocomposites Research

Background

Nanocomposites are formed when a functional material having at least 1 dimension on the nanoscale (<100nm) is dispersed in a matrix, such as a polymer, metal or ceramic. Examples of functional materials include carbon nanotubes, graphene, nano-cellulose, inorganic nanowires, ceramics, layered silicates, layered double hydroxides, and other inorganic nanoparticles. The many unique and extraordinary properties (e.g. electrical conductivity, high current carrying density, thermal conductivity, strength, stiffness, magnetic, optical) of such functional materials can be translated to the matrix material to form a composite material having multifunctional properties including, for example, stimuli-responsive and electromagnetic induction shielding in combination with lightweight.

Mission

Nanocomposites research within IINM encompasses both fundamental and applied research, associated with the manufacture of novel materials, devices and components with tailored functionality and properties.

A key strategic aim of the group is to address two grand challenges, both required to ensure optimal exploitation of nanocomposite materials:

  • To understand the parameters which control the dispersion and distribution of nanoparticles in polymer melts during mixing
  • To characterise fully the role of the interface between matrix and nanoparticle in governing nanocomposite properties

Expertise

The Nanocomposites Group have established capability where nanomaterials are incorporated into different matrices and subsequently processed to produce multifunctional components that have application in a broad range of industries, such as telecommunications, electronics, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, automotive, security and medicine. The group also has extensive experience of innovation using a range of primary and secondary polymer processing technologies, and in the reuse and recycling of polymers. Find out more>>

Nanocomposites Research Groups

More about individual research groups within the IINM:

  • Dr Claire Dancer - Processing of ceramic materials and highly-loaded polymer-ceramic composites for functional and stuctural applications
  • Dr Lukasz Figiel - Development of experimentally-validated multiscale models for prediction and optimisation of processing-morphology-property relations in advanced multifunctional nanomaterials
  • Dr Tara Schiller - Synthesis and advanced characterisation of polymer composite systems
  • Dr Chaoying Wan - Structure and functionalities of polymer-based nanocomposites including chemistry synthesis, morphology control, interface characteristics and large-scale manufacturing

Recent Publications