NanoSurfProject reference: 334069
Funded under :
Surface Energetics of Low Dimensional Nanostructures
Total cost:EUR 87 500
EU contribution:EUR 87 500
Call for proposal:FP7-PEOPLE-2012-CIGSee other projects for this call
Funding scheme:MC-CIG - Support for training and career development of researcher (CIG)
This proposal aims to probe the surface energetics of low dimensional nanomaterials (LDNs). Materials on this scale show immense promise (mechanically, electrically, thermally, etc.) but to realise this potential they must first overcome their tendency to aggregate. Measuring and understanding the surface energy of such nanomaterials is of vital importance if one wishes to produce solutions of exfoliated LDNs and thus harness their full potential in composites, or devices.
At present, there is a lack of information on the surface energetics of materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene and other novel LDNs. Experimental and computed values vary dramatically due to a lack of reliable methods to measure surface energy and the difficulty in producing a representative sample to measure. In this proposal, I will use inverse gas chromatography (IGC) to accurately measure the surface energy of a range of LDNs. Recent advances in this technique (of which, I have had close involvement) and my expertise at exfoliating nanomaterials to make representative samples (including a 2011 Science publication) make this proposal timely and offers the potential for field-leading research in this area to be conducted. I have outlined a clear objective-based work plan fully supported by the school of physics and CRANN (both at Trinity College Dublin) to achieve my research goals. As well as using IGC to probe the surface energy of LDNs, this proposal aims to i) determine the role of graphene edges in the liquid phase exfoliation of graphite, ii) determine the dependence of graphene surface energy with flake size, iv) control the surface energy of 2-D nanosheets (such as transition metal dichalcogenides) by edge functionalisation to create novel hetro-structures, v) tailor the surface energy of nanomaterials such as graphene and nanotubes through functionalisation to create smart composites. Each research objective will answer fundamental questions pertaining to such nanomaterials.
EU contribution: EUR 87 500
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