Seven research groups (six Universities and one Industry) have been assembled with complementary expertise suitable to perform comprehensive studies on clay-organics hybrids and composites. Two organic synthetic groups (UNITS and UNIEDI), two inorganic-spectroscopic groups (IOANNI and UNIVIE), one solid-state spectroscopy physics group (FUNDP), one quantum chemical modelist (UNIBO) and one polymer science group (DSM) will converge to a common objective: the design, preparation, characterization and determination of the potential for practical applications of composites of custom-made organic-based systems (derivatives of carbon nanotubes and fullerene, along with variously derivatives macrocyclic systems) and alumino silicate minerals (among others, smectite clays). The highly charged sites of clays will be used to develop new organics-clays hybrid materials with novel optical and electronic properties. The new nanostructures will be introduced in polymers to produce multifunctional nanocomposites characterized both by an augmented strength and by the newly developed property of the organic system intercalated or anchored to the clay. An interesting example of the final products the network seeks to produce are nanocomposites-containing clays that can be separated into tiny particles of size comparable to the wavelength of visible light. When dispersed in resins, small amounts of these particles can potentially improve strength, barrier properties, and heat resistance while maintaining clarity.
Funding SchemeNET - Research network contracts
6160 MD Geleen
EH 3JJ Edinburgh