Mr Joe Morgan

PhD Project

PhD Title: Lightweight, Transparent and Sustainable Metamaterials  

Supervisors: Prof. Stephen Eichhorn and Prof. Yanqiu Zhu


Plants containing the polymer cellulose can be broken down into fibres whose lateral dimensions are less than the wavelength of light (few 100s of nanometres). In addition to these cellulose fibres have a very low coefficients of thermal expansion, an intrinsically high mechanical properties. Cellulose is also insulating and does not conduct electricity. Carbon nanomaterials (e.g. carbon nanotubes, graphene) are known to also possess high mechanical properties, be highly conductive and can be combined with cellulose to make functional materials (e.g. supercapactitors). This project will combine these properties to produce model transparent cellulose-carbon nanomaterial metamaterials by layer-by-layer deposition (LbL). LbL uses a deposition of materials by dip coating sequentially thin layers of charged materials to a surface in multilayers for optical, barrier and conductive properties. The metamaterial properties that we plan to explore are combined optical transparency, mechanical stiffness and energy storage).