Design and self-assembly of functional colloidal films

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Materials


The properties of a material are heavily influenced by its surface and bulk structures. Colloidal self-assembly methods, using particles suspended in a solvent as the building blocks, have been recently proposed as a single-step alternative for obtaining surfaces "on demand. In this project, blends of polymer colloids and silica nanoparticles will be self-assembled into structured films. It is expected that the silica nanoparticles will move to the top surface, providing enhanced scratch resistance. Self-assembly parameters, such as solids content, size and number ratio, and wet film thickness, will be tuned to optimize the surface coverage.

In the second half of the project, the silica will be incorporated inside the polymer particles, making the final film structure more durable. The functionalization of the silica nanoparticles with hydrophobic monomers will improve the water barrier properties of the final coating, which will have enhanced hardness and scratch resistance because of the presence of silica.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509516/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2021
2131960 Studentship EP/N509516/1 30/09/2018 30/03/2022 James Tinkler
EP/R513088/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2023
2131960 Studentship EP/R513088/1 30/09/2018 30/03/2022 James Tinkler