"High aspect ratio carbon-based nanoparticles (nanotubes (CNT), nanofibres (CNF), and nanosheets or exfoliated graphite (CNS)) will be introduced into bulk polymers, into polymeric foams and into membranes. It is expected that such nanofillers will tremendously improve and modify the properties of these families of materials, allowing them to reach new markets. However, a common and fundamental problem in polymer-based nanocomposites is the large extent of agglomeration of the nanoparticles due to their high surface to volume ratio. Therefore, techniques to control deagglomeration and possibly further organization of these high aspect ratio nanoparticles in polymeric materials remain a challenge. This project under industrial leadership will therefore aim at mastering, at the nanometric and mesoscale level, the spatial organization of carbon-based nanoparticles (CNP) with various surface functionalities, sizes and shapes having large aspect ratios in bulk, foamed and thin film (membranes) polymers by using industrially viable processes. More precisely, the aim of this proposal consists in generating polymer-based nanocomposites with a percolating nanoparticle structure that is reinforcing the material and imparts it with improved electrical and thermal conductivity at a minimum of nanoparticle loading. To reach such radically improved properties, it is important to take into account that a complete dispersion is not useful and will lead to lower properties. In order to control this CNP organization within the polymer matrix, a large set of techniques will be used. They range from synthetic approaches (""grafting from"", ""grafting to"", ""grafting through"", emulsion polymerization) to (reactive) melt or solution blending processes, and to preparation in supercritical CO2. The aim is to generate new classes of engineering materials for various applications like EMI shielding, antistatic packaging materials and membranes, as well as scaffolds for tissue engineering."
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Funding SchemeCP-IP - Large-scale integrating project