Thursday 15 Nov 2012FMG seminar: Nanomaterials customised to demand

Professor Nicole Grobert (Oxford) - Department of Materials & Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford

Harrison 170 (3D Visualisation Suite) 14:00-15:00

Zero, one, and two dimensional nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, nanotubes/nanorods and sheets of layered materials are the subject of widespread research due to their predicted outstanding properties and they are expected to be ideal components for a wide range of applications across the length scales and disciplines.

Applications of nanomaterials include fillers in multifunctional composite materials, building blocks in nanoelectronic devices, biocompatible carriers for medical applications, high performance chemical sensors, and many more. However, most products require nanomaterials with well defined properties at commercially viable prices yet current production methods do not fulfil those requirements. For the efficient exploitation of nanomaterials a systematic study of their formation and the design of novel routes to nanomaterials manufacturing are of vital importance in order to overcome this bottleneck.

Recently, we showed that structure, diameter distribution, defect density, oxidation resistance, chemical composition of nanomaterials can indeed be tailored if reaction conditions are carefully controlled. In order to identify trends of the structure properties relationships in nanomaterials we used complementary state-of-the-art characterisation techniques in conjunction with in-situ transmission electron microscopy studies. Moreover, we developed standardised characterisation protocols, defined growth systematics, and established a nomenclature for sp2 nanocarbons, i.e. three key components to developing novel nanostructured materials suitable building blocks for addressing society's future needs.

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