Giannelis, Emmanuel PWalter R. Read Professor of En
College of Engineering
- In addition to his primary appointment in Materials Science and Engineering, Giannelis is a member of the Fields of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His research interests include polymer nanocomposites, nanobiohybrids, nanoparticle fluids and flexible electronics. His group is internationally recognized as one of the leading groups in polymer nanocomposites.
The design and synthesis of materials with nanometer dimensions are the subjects of intense current research. Materials with dimensions in the range of 1 to 10 nm exhibit novel electronic, optical, magnetic and chemical properties due to their extremely small dimensions.
A large part of our effort has been devoted to the design and synthesis of polymer nanocomposites using intercalation of layered solids. Our group has pioneered melt intercalation of high polymers as a powerful new approach to synthesize polymer-layered silicate nanocomposites. This method is quite general and is broadly applicable to a range of polymers from essentially non-polar polystyrene to strongly polar nylon.
The nanocomposites represent a radical alternative to conventional, macroscopic composites. Because of their nanometer-scale dispersion, they exhibit markedly improved mechanical and physical properties including increased modulus and strength, decreased permeability, and increased solvent and flame resistance.