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Research

Research Theme - Polymer Energy Nanocomposites


- Thermoplastic elastomeric nanocomposites for lightweight vehicles

Graphene oxide reinforced ethylene-vinyl acetate rubber/ternary polyamide copolymer thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are prepared via a dynamic vulcanization technique with the assistance of tetraethoxysilane for transesterification crosslinking reaction of EVM. The addition of GO up to 1.81 wt% enhanced both the mechanical strength and dielectric constant of the TPE.

- Electrospun polymer nanocomposites

Graphene oxide acts as both an effective reinforcement filler and a biological activator in hydrophilic biopolymers such as gelatin, offering the biopolymer–GO nanocomposites great potential for biomedical devices.

- Gas barrier and anticorrosive nanocoatings

2D nanomaterials modified polymer nanocoatings can maintain oxygen levels inside packaging for an increased duration of freshness and inhibition of the growth of aerobic microorganisms, meanwhile hinder the corrosion process of steel-based food packaging.

- Mesoporous carbon nanocomposites for energy storage

Synthesis of carbon-based nanocomposites, including surface-functionalisation of carbon nanoparticles (carbon nanotube, graphene and mesoporous carbon), dispersion mechanism and interfacial interactions with polymers
Intrinstic modification of carbon structures
Hybrid carbon nanostructures for pseudocapacitor anodes, cathods and catalysts
Solid electrolytes, gel electrolytes and hybrid electrolytes

- Elastomeric nanocomposites for energy harvesting and storage

Nanostructured thermoplastic elastomers for mechanical and thermal energy harvesting and conversion
Flexible and stretchable dielectrics

- Interface and properties of polymer nanocomposites

Interface between nanoparticles (such as graphene, carbon nanotube and silicon) and polymers can be designed and tailored to reinforce the interfacial interaction with polymer matrices. Various chemstry and physical approaches have been developed and investigated for a range of nanocomposites, in order to elucidate the relationship of interface and properties (such as reinforcement, adhesion, gas barrier, electrical conductivity) at multiscale levels.

Project

Monash-Warwick Alliance 2017
UK-China International Partnership, 2013-2015
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing, EngD studentship, 2016-2020
EPRSC iCASE PhD studentship, 2016-2020

Facilities

Wet-chemistry labs, ultrasound, hydrothermal, electrochemical synthesis
Polylab system, twin-extrusion, micro-injection moulding, hot-press, electrospinning, freeze-drying, calcination