Particle Research and Development by Professor Partch’s Group
“Variety is the spice of (scientific) life”. That best defines the successful ongoing achievements in the studies being conducted by CAMP Senior University Professor Richard Partch’s group. IR obscurant materials continue to be improved by Justen Schaefer and Nathan Victor. The nanoparticles include aluminum flakes and multiwalled carbon nanotubes, both processed in creative ways yielding obscuration values over 20 times currently deployed materials. Plasma techniques have been completed by Tania Tannahill to generate <50 nm particles of mixed metal oxide phosphor powders for use in more energy efficient lighting. Other phosphor work by David Eno involves impregnating porous carrier particles with luminescent oxides. David Eno and Deborah Shipp have succeeded in preparing and decolorizing several carbonaceous particles in dispersion, and using them as fillers in polymer composites. Jinjin Feng and Kamel Omrane have completed initial work on the preparation of new photoactive monomers and polymers designed for dental filler application. Lauren Gaskell has prepared precursors to potential inhibitors of the biotoxin Ricin. Also Prashant Meshram has refined the processing of new polymer coated CMP abrasives. These projects have been funded by the US Army, NanoDynamics, GE, DuPont, Xerox, NYSTAR/CAMP and ATMI, respectively.
Professor Partch brought international attention to his work and CAMP when he served as an invited Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft lecturer, and established collaboration with Professor Klaus Albert at the University of Tuebingen in July.
U.S. Army Research Project: Smart Responsive Nanocomposites for Soldier Protection
The awarded $2M Army Research Office (ARO) project on Smart Responsive and Nanocomposite Systems continues at Clarkson University. The research is led by CAMP Director Professor Babu and CAMP Professors Minko and Sokolov. The whole team includes eleven other CAMP Professors: Ahmadi, Cetinkaya, Li, Jha, Fendler, McLaughlin, Moosbrugger, Morrison, Privman, Shipp, and Suni.
Self - Healing Materials
A team led by Professor Sokolov, is developing self-healing materials. Structural polymers, though attractive from mechanical and chemical points of view, are susceptible to deterioration due to the formation and propagation of cracks. This leads to degradation of their mechanical properties and decreases life time. The purpose of the present research is the development of special healing capsules embedded in the polymer matrix. When a crack propagates, it ruptures the capsules. Healing "glue" leaks out into the crack, seals, and "cures" the crack. This repairs the crack, and to some extent recovers the mechanical integrity of the polymer. The main feature of this developing approach is the use of glass capsules, in particular, nanoporous silica capsules. This allows the healing glue components to be active for a much longer period of time than what has been achieved so far.
Professors Ahmadi, McLaughlin, and Sokolov are examining the details of the mechanisms by which cracks are healed, in self-healing materials. They are developing models for flows in micro-cracks and the subsequent curing process for this Army funded project. The goal is to provide a fundamental understanding of the processes involved so that the self-healing materials can be optimally designed. Professors Moosbrugger, Morrison, and Sokolov are studying the recovery of mechanical properties for the self-healing materials. The double beam cantilever and wage test systems have been used. The mechanics of nanoporous capsules are being investigated by Professors Jha, Sokolov, and Ahmadi. In addition Professors Privman, Moosbrugger, and Sokolov are studying the fatigue of self-healing composites.
Micro- and Macro-Mechanical Modeling of Self Healing Composite Materials
Professors Jha, Cetinkaya, Ahmadi, and Sokolov are studying the mechanical properties of self healing materials for this Army funded project. The objectives are to provide a fundamental knowledge of the mechanical behavior of undamaged and healed materials. A multi-scale model will be used to predict the effects of “healing fiber” concentration, aspect ratio, and modulus on the mechanical properties of the composite material. The response of self-healing composite structures to quasi-static and dynamic loads will be investigated. The modeling will determine stress/strain concentrations, failure mechanisms, stress wave propagation, and healing efficiency.
Characterization of Nanomaterials for Advanced Energy Storage and Conversion Devices
CAMP Professor Dipankar Roy is using a variety of electrochemical techniques to study novel nanocomposite materials for advanced energy storage (batteries) and energy conversion (fuel cell) devices. These materials typically involve nanoceramics, designed to serve as active components for high-performance electrodes in lithium ion rechargeable batteries and medium-temperature solid oxide fuel cells. The Clarkson group’s effort also aims at developing environmentally safe and electrochemically stable new electrolytes for high energy-density secondary batteries (with a specific focus on exploring potential utilities of various ionic liquids in these latter systems). The electrochemical characterization techniques that Professor Roy uses for these studies include galvanostatic charging-discharging, cyclic voltammetry (including slow-scan voltammetry), potential-step polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The relatively new time resolved technique of Fourier transform EIS has been extensively used in Professor Roy’s laboratory during recent years for studying water-based electrochemical interfaces. This powerful method is now being extended to quantitative studies of complex non-aqueous systems involving batteries and fuel cells. This work is conducted in collaboration with MetaMateria Partners (a wholly owned subsidiary of NanoDynamics, Inc.), and represents part of CAMP’s recent CAT development project with NanoDynamics. The project is funded by NanoDynamics and NYSTAR, and is geared toward further development and expansion of advanced technologies for energy conservation, storage and independence. More information about Professor Roy’s current research can be found at: http://www.clarkson.edu/~samoy/.