Polymeric Composites and Foams based on Two Dimensional Surfactants

Project Personnel

Douglas Adamson

Principal Investigator

University of Connecticut

Email

Hannes Schniepp

College of William and Mary

Email

Andrey Dobrynin

University of Akron

Email

Funding Divisions

Division of Materials Research (DMR), Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI)

Difficulties in mixing different constituents is a major challenge hindering advances in functional materials and composites. A prominent example is graphene’s lack of compatibility in polymers, where current approaches to mixing compromise graphene’s superior properties. Our alternative route utilizes the high-energy interface between two immiscible solvents to cause stacked graphene sheets to exfoliate and spread, creating self-assembled percolating networks. Lowering the system's overall free energy drives this rearrangement of sheets, and the method is broadly applicable. With support and feedback from experimental and analytic investigations, the development of computational tools will accelerate development of this new class of composite materials.

Research Highlights