The overarching goal of this project is to develop carbon nanofibers (CNFs) with multifunctional capabilities, such as load bearing, energy storage, and embedded sensing. The development of this novel material system can be broadly appealing in many applications, including aerospace sector, in which developing lighter structures as a means to enhance performance (maneuverability, fuel efficiency, endurance, etc) has been at the heart of materials design. An image of a porous CNF is shown in the figure below.
Yijun Chen, PhD candidate in our group, won the second place student poster session award in Polymer Technology Industrial Consortium (PTIC) Student Poster Session. He presented his work on the encapsulation of functional materials, and controlled release, inside porous micro and nanofibers.
We are excited for Mr. Sumit Khatri to have joined our group as a PhD student. Sumit got his BSc from IIT, Kharagpur, India.
Many thanks to Isabel Kalnin, Christian Grimme and Christopher Kuo-Leblanc made significant contributions to the research in our group, way more than expected to be done, only in 10 weeks! We are sad that they are leaving, but we hope that they come back. Also thanks to our graduate students Jizhe, Jamshid, Yijun and Kai who stood along their side and mentored them.
- Isabel pushed the limits in developing hollow carbon nanfibers with wall thickness of ~10-20 nm,
- Christopher developed a variation of melt electrospinning to develop low micron and submicron polymeric fibers,
- Christian made an in-house setup capable of mass producing single threads of PAN nanofibers with a very narrow diameter distribution.