Present and past news highlights from the Project can be found in this section. For further information on any of these items, please contact us.



Enero 2015

"Progress" in PNC nanoindentation

This article presents an exhaustive revision of recent studies on the mechanical properties of polymeric nanocomposites using the nanoindentation technique, with special emphasis on carbonaceous nanoreinforcements (carbon nanotubes, graphene and nanodiamond). The literature presents apparently dispersed results on the synergetic effects of nanofillers in diverse polymer matrices.

Increase in the indentation modulus delta EI, as a function of the weight of nanofiller for diverse thermoplastic matrices. Open or closed symbols correspond to functionalized and non-functionalized nanofillers, respectively. CNT = carbon nanotubes, G = graphene, ND = nanodiamond. The following general trends for deltaEI can be observed: (i) it increases strongly with nanofiller content until » 1 wt%; from whence the increase is less pronounced, (ii) it’s values are similar when CNT, graphene or nanodiamonds are incorporateded, and (iii) it shows significantly lower values in similar experiments in these same polymer matrices reinforced with clays or inorganic particles.
The bibliographic study provides evidence demonstrating that part of the discrepancies in the data result from the inadequate selection of the experimental conditions and the data analysis method. Both aspects are fundamental in the determination of mechanical properties in viscoelastic and viscoplastic materials. The authors, as well as compiling information from numerous sources, offer a critical view on the described results and often new interpretations of the experimental observations. The review includes original figures on the effect of diverse nanofillers on the mechanical properties of various polymer matrices. These representations allow the reader to observe general trends, and demonstrate that in order to understand the nanoreinforcing effect the influence of diverse factors such as the nature of the matrix, the nanofiller dispersion and its interaction with the polymer, or the form, size and orientation of the reinforcing nanoparticles. Finally, the article considers pending challenges and future perspectives of the mechanical characterisation of polymer nanocomposites via nanoindentation.
Bibliographic reference:   Nanoindentation in polymer nanocomposites.
A.M. Díez-Pascual, M.A. Gómez-Fatou, F. Ania, A. Flores.
Progress in Materials Science 67, 1-94 (2015)
DOI: 10.1016/j.pmatsci.2014.06.002
IF: 25.870


December 2014

Recent PBNCs paper published

A recent article in the journal Macromolecular Materials and Engineering features some surprising results on epoxy-thermoplastic polymer blend nanocomposites (PBNCs).

Polymer Blend Nanocomposites: Effect of Selective Nanotube Location on the Properties of a Semicrystalline Thermoplastic-Toughened Epoxy Thermoset
Ana M. Díez-Pascual, Peter S. Shuttleworth, Eduin I. Gónzalez-Castillo, Carlos Marco, Marian A. Gómez-Fatou and Gary Ellis
Macromolecular Materials and Engineering 299, 1430–1444 (2014) DOI: 10.1002/mame.201400145

November 2014

Peter back in York

Dr. Peter Shuttleworth spent 9 days in the GCCE at York University for a series af meetings and materials preparation and characterization for application tests.

October 2014nanoindentation  

Mesoporous NC patent filed

Some of the mesoporous nanocomposite materials developed in the last 2 years in collaboration with the University of York, UK have been registered in a patent:

Inventors: Peter S. Shuttleworth, Gary J. Ellis, Horacio J. Salavagione (CSIC), Vitaliy L. Budarin, James H. Clark (Univ. York)
Ref: 0436P/GB (UK).
Priority date: 15-09-2014
Owners: University of York - CSIC

Septiembre 2014

Marian Gómez-Fatou

Horacio Salavagione

New MINECO project awarded

A new project has been awarded to iDEAPOLNAN researcher, Prof. Marian Gómez. It will focus specifically on graphene-based polymer nanocomposites, allowing us to advance on some of the developments made in this area during the iDEAPOLNAN project.

Main Researchers: Dr. Horacio Salavagione, Prof. Marian A. Gómez-Fatou

The project, born from a very fruitful collaboration with Dr. Horacio Salavagione of the Polymer Physics Group of the ICTP-CSIC and Drs. Araceli Flores and Fernando Ania of the Institute of Structure of Matter (IEM-CSIC), is a subproject of the MINECO project entitled "NANOSCALE PROPERTIES OF HIERARCHICAL POLYMER NANOCOMPOSITES BASED ON GRAPHENE", coordinated by Dr. Flores, and runs until 2017.

Junio 2014  

BlenDynIt extended

An extension of the subproject to the end of the year will allow us to continue with our technological transfer activities contemplated in the Project Work Plan.



July 2013  

More Progress in hybrids

Members of the research team have recently published in the high-impact journal Progress in Polymer Science (IF= 26.383) a detailed review of the state of the art in the development of hybrid polymer nanocomposite materials based on inorganic fullerenes, including the most recent advances of the group in this area. LINK TO PAPER

IFsOrganic-inorganic hybrid materials are found at the natural interphase between two worlds of radically different chemistry, but both with important contributions to the materials science universe. Today one of the most rapid growth areas is that of hybrid polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) since it is envisaged that they will play a fundamental role in the development of advanced functional materials of the future. IFsRecently, inorganic fullerene-like (IF) nanoparticles based on transition metal dichalcogenides, such as IF-WS2 or IF-MoS2, have emerged as a family of very promising materials in this area due to their high impact resistance and excellent tribological behaviour. IF-PNCs can manifest similar or better performance than PNCs with carbon nanotubes or nanofibres, but they are much more economical, easier to process and more satisfactory from an ecological standpoint.

The Polymer Physics Group has been developing these materials foe several years and the article presents the state of the arte of these materials today. The structure, morphology and properties of IFsdiverse thermoplastic IF-PNCs are compared with those of PNCs that incorporate other spherical inorganic nanoparticle fillers, with special emphasis on the thermal, mechanical and tribological properties. Also, a new generation of dual-particle hybrids based on synergy between IFs and other micro o nanoparticles to modulate properties is discussed. Finally, some application areas are proposed in areas ranging from medical or transport to the electronics or aerospace industries.

June 2013

Dr. Vitaly Budarin in Madrid

Dr. Vitaly Budarin from the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence of the University of York (UK) spent a week in our lab working on starch-based nanocomposites as part of an international collaboration, aided by i-LINK+ funding from the CSIC.

May 2013


Frontiers in Polymer Science

Project members presented 3 posters at the 3rd International Symposium "Frontiers in Polymer Science" held on 21st - 23rd of May in Sitges, Spain. The work presented related to three areas of research:

  • Graphene chemistry for polymer nanocomposites
  • Synchrotron IR and x-ray microspectroscopy studies polymorphic interhases
  • Biorenewable strategies for new materials from waste oil.

Kick-off Meeting in Madrid for i-LINK+

Prof. James Clark, Director of the GCCE at York University visited the Group and participated with the Spanish team in the Madrid Kick-off Meeting of the i-LINK+ Project.

March 2013


Researchers visit the University of York

Within the new i-LINK+ project, the preparation of new nanocomposites with graphene derivatives was initiated in the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence of the University of York, UK.

On the 26th of March the York Kick-off Meeting was held. In the photograph, Drs. Peter Shuttleworth, Gary Ellis and Horacio Salavagione visit the facilities and laboratories of the GCCE with Dr. Vitaly Budarin (second from the left).
January 2013


New international collaboration project awarded

Researchers from the Project have won an iLINK+ Project, financed by the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC), for a collaboration with the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence of the University of York, and the company Starbon Technologies Ltd, both of the United Kingdom. The project entitled "Nanocomposite enhancement of naturally derived mesoporous carbons" runs for 2 years, and is an extension of the experience developed in the group for the incorporation of nanoparticles into naturally derived materials. For more information on the British partners, click on the images.



September 2012

PM-SIRMS at BESSY-II Synchrotron Berlin

Dr Gary Ellis, in collaboration with Dr Ulriche Schade, Director of the IRIS Beamline at BESSY-II, used polarization-modulated IR microspectroscopy (PM-SIRMS) with high spatial resolution to study the crystalline morphology of diverse semicrystalline polymeric materials.

September 2012

Seminar on PEEK nanocomposites

Dr Ana Díez-Pascual gave the seminar entitled "Nanocompuestos de altas prestaciones basados en poli(éter éter cetona)" on the development of PEEK/CNT nanocomposites in the ICTP Seminar Cycle 2012-13, on Wednesday 19th September at 12 am.


July 2012

B22 - MIRIAM beamline


Experiments at Diamond Light Source

Members of the group have undertaken a series of experiments at the Infrared Microspectroscopy beamline at the Diamond Light Source, in the UK. Dr Peter Shuttleworth and Dr Gary Ellis, have studied biodegradable polymer blends and composites.

June 2012
Progress in Materials Science

"Progress" in polyetherketone nanocomposites

Members of the research team have recently published in the high-impact journal Progress in Materials Science, with an impact factor of 18.216, a detailed review of the state of the art in the development of PEK-based nanocomposite materials, including the most recent advances of the group in this area. LINK TO PAPER

Reduced abstract:
Polyetherketones are high-performance thermoplastic materials with a unique combination of toughness, stiffness, thermooxidative stability, chemical and solvent resistance, flame retardancy, and retention of physical properties at high temperatures. Recently the incorporation of nanofillers has been employed to extend their utility in advanced technological applications. This review provides an extensive overview of the research on PEK-based nanocomposites with a special emphasis on both carbon-based nanofillers (nanotubes, nanofibers,...) and inorganic nanoparticles, and considers fabrication methods, incorporation strategies (including polymer functionalization, covalent grafting and nanofiller wrapping in compatibilizing systems), and the analysis of the influence of these as well as the nanofiller type, attributes and loading on the structure and properties of the resulting materials. Remarkably improved thermal stability, electrical and thermal conductivity as well as mechanical property enhancements are found for polymers incorporating carbon nanofillers, whereas inorganic nanoparticles significantly enhances the tribological properties of the matrix. Finally, current and potential applications in diverse fields are described.



IFs improve carbon fibre laminates

Improvements in the mechanical and tribological behaviour in PPS - CF laminates by incorporation of inorganic fullerenes just out in Polymer.


Buckypaper reinforced PEEK laminates

Two papers, just published detail the structure, thermal and mechanical, and electrical and thermal conductivity properties of novel SWNT-BP/PEEK laminates. Published in Composites Part A: Applied Science & Manufacturing


iPP: NF to modulate the crystalline morphology

An inorganic NF was combined with a specific nucleating agent allowing precise control the crystalline morphology of isotactic polypropylene. Published in J. Phys. Chem. B.