The final result provides a highly versatile material that can be used to create a range of high performance materials such as: self healing paints, and clever packaging that can be tailored to let precise levels of water, air or both pass in a particular direction.
The research, led by Dr Stefan Bon of University of Warwick's Department of Chemistry, has created a “soap free emulsion polymerization process” which makes colloid particles of polymer dispersed in water and in one simple step introduces nanometre sized silica based particles to the mix. These silica based nanoparticles (about 25 nanometre in size) then coats the polymer colloids with a layer “battering” it almost like a fish can be battered in bread crumbs.
This process creates a very versatile polymer latex product. It can be used to create scratch resistant paints in which the scratches heal themselves. It can be fine tuned to produce polymer based packaging which will allow water or air to pass through the packaging in tailored ways. The resultant rough textured spherical shapes also lend themselves to the creation of sheets with polymer that present much more surface area than usual allowing more efficient interaction with other materials.
The versatility of this process did not stop there. By exposing the material to a second simple step which deposited another polymer layer on top of the already silica based nanoparticles “battered” polymers the researchers were able to produce particles with an even greater range of properties and uses. The image shows such a multi-layered polymer colloid and was taken with a transmission electron microscope.
Industrialists will be interested not just in the versatility of the end product but the ease and cost effectiveness of the process. The Warwick research team has worked on a number of other processes that coated polymers in forms of protection but they all required a number of steps to produce the end result. This new process cuts dramatically the time needed to create such materials and its single step can already be produced on a mass scale with currently used industrial equipment. The amount of material that one can harvest from the process will also impress industrialists as the Warwick team showed that the useful product can easily be made up to around 45% of the volume of each water-based solution used in their process. This compares with figures of as of little as 1 to 10 % for comparable multi-step processes that make these complex particles.
The research paper by Patrick J. Colver, Catheline A. L. Colard, and Stefan A. F. Bon at the University of Warwick is entitled Multilayered Nanocomposite Polymer Colloids Using Emulsion Polymerization Stabilized by Solid Particles in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH
A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Information Technology