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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R30907/02
Title: Novel Clay-Polymer Nanocomposites Using Diversity-Discovery Methods: Synthesis, Processing & Testing.
Principal Investigator: Coveney, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Whiting, Professor A Evans, Professor JRG
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 February 2003 Ends: 31 March 2005 Value (£): 252,902
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction Energy
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The aim of this work is to explore and develop a completely new field of day-polymer nanocomposite materials. Almost all aspects of these materials are currently uncharted, from the scope of their potential chemical synthesis, the detailed nature of the template catalysed chemistry occurring within and on the surfaces of the clay minerals, through to their processing and the characterisation of their mechanical and physical properties. The scope of their potential applications remains undefined. Preliminary work on these systems, carried out by two of the applicants (PVC & AW) in collaboration with Schlumberger, has indicated substantial promise and indeed patents are currently pending which are limited to applications of these materials within the oilfield. Because them is very little understood abort the synthesis, chemistry and general properties of these novel materials it is our intention to undertake such study within this project. Experimantal work will focus on the use of diversity-discovery methods to map out the parameter space of possible in situ copolymerisations on a wide range of day minerals, supplemented with initial studies of an existing but very limited set of known nanocomposite samples with novel properties. Traditional and novel ceramics and polymer processing methods will be applied to existing and emerging composites so that their mechanical and physical properties can be explored. As the synthetic work advances, a widening range of nanocomposites will become available. At all stages of the project, computer-based modelling methods will be used to assist in the interpretation and direction of the experimental activities, initially through a combination of classical molecular dynamics and plane wave density functional methods, Later on by means of a materials-informatics approach to elucidating the connections between molecular and materials properties.
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