Duration: 2009 –
The main subject of this research activity is the preparation and the characterization of nanostructured polymeric films obtained by dispersing carbon nanoparticles (nanotubes CNTs and nanofibres CNFs) in the polymeric matrix (polymethylmethacrylate PMMA). A great interest is directed towards the optimization of the production techniques of these materials, as well as to the definition of innovative film preparation techniques and new dispersion methods of carbon nanoparticles.
The interest aroused by these materials is due to the use of high electrically conductive carbon nanoparticles: the presence of such particles in the polymer allows to obtain multifunctional materials characterized by the combining of both the polymer and the carbon nanoparticles properties.
As an example, these materials make possible to have conductive nanostructured films maintaining, at the same time, the transparency of their neat polymeric matrix. Moreover, these materials allow the achievement of a good control over the film surface properties such as wettability (for self cleaning applications) and both surface and transversal electrical conductivity, as well as the enhancement of both scratch and radiation resistances to produce innovative materials for optoelectronic applications.
The analysis of polymeric films aims also to the preparation and characterization of porous polymeric films produced through the “breath figures” method: the pores in the polymeric matrix are produced by the presence of an high moisture degree during the deposition of the polymer previously dissolved in a solvent on a substrate. The condensation of water droplets on the solution surface before of the solvent evaporation produces the formation of the pores after both the polymer solidification and the water droplets evaporation.
Finally, the research activities involve also the study and the application of nanoparticle modification procedures: in this case, the main goal is to achieve an enhancement of the compatibility with the polymer and an optimization of their dispersion in the matrix.
The effects produced by functionalization procedures are studied to enhance CNTs and graphene dispersion and, at the same time, to enhance their affinity and reactivity with the polymer. More in detail, the graphene functionalization is analysed to achieve an increase of its reactivity with the amine functional group. The final application is the preparation of thermoset nanocomposites containing graphene.