The Centre for Computational Science







From Fundamental Understanding to Predictive Design of Layered Nanomaterials

From Dec 2010 to Nov 2013
Monetary Value (CCS): £168,911
Project Leader(s): Professor Peter V. Coveney (Lead-PI, University College London), Dr. Mahmoud Khader (Co-Lead PI, Qatar University), Prof. Mazen Al-Ghoul (Co-PI, American University of Beirut).
Sponsors: Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), as part of the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP)
Partners: University College London, Qatar University, American University of Beirut.

A team of world leading academic partners has joined forces in a $1.2 million 3 year research project to investigate the properties of layered nanomaterials. The collaboration has been enabled through the Qatar National Research Fund, as part of the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP).

This project addresses important concerns in the field of Polymer nanocomposites (PNCs). PNCs are a new range of particle filled composites with one component possessing a dimension in the nanometre range. The nanocomposites fall within the realm of the emergent area known as nanotechnology, where materials are designed and built at the atomic level, an area of science currently at the forefront of academic, industrial, health and public interest. Layered nanomaterials consist of mineral layers separated by polymeric or organic material, the thickness of which is of the order of nanometers (a picture is shown on the left). Tailoring the clay structure on the nanometer scale produces composites with novel material properties, which can be significantly different from bulk properties and have already been applied in numerous commercial applications, such as in the automotive industry, biodegradable food packaging and in oil drilling fluids.

The multi-disciplinary team, led by University College London, will be combining atomistic simulation with experimental research to understand how the properties of these novel materials are dependent on their structure and composition. From this, we will be developing predictive tools to inform the next generation of layered nanomaterials.

For further information, please contact Prof. Peter V. Coveney (p.v.coveney "at" ucl.ac.uk)