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TU Dresden » Faculty of Mechanical Science and Engineering » Institute for Materials Science » Chair of Materials Science and Nanotechnology

Monday, 09 December 2019
(at 9:00 in room 115, Hallwachsstr. 3)
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Nanomaterials and their applications: from human and environmental health to small satellites

Dr. Nadia Licciardello

International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Braga, POR

Nanotechnology is an important tool for solving not only several human and environmental health-related issues, but also for pushing forward aerospace applications. Non-invasive cancer imaging and therapy, efficient and cost-effective water cleaning as well as smaller dimensions, less complexity and lower cost for satellites represent significant challenges in these fields. Properly engineered nanomaterials are crucial to tackle these issues. Ultrasmall nanoparticles (sub-10 nm size), such as silicon nanoparticles (Si NPs) and carbon dots (CQDs), are growing in importance, especially in the imaging and therapy of cancer [1,2]. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles are not only being used as biocompatible materials, but have a key role in the photocatalytic wastewater cleaning [3]. Other nanoparticles, such as gold or silver ones, can be exploited in sensing and water cleaning applications thanks to their plasmonic properties. Finally new nanocomposites containing particles of high Z-elements could be used in innovative approaches for the radiation protection of satellite components against cosmic particles. Herein, after briefly reporting some of the results on human and environmental health applications of nanomaterials, we focus on the preparation and characterization of new nanocomposites for small satellites. Traditionally, solid tungsten foils or lead foils are used to protect the radiation-sensitive electronics in this field. In a miniature satellite, however, these high-density materials can contribute significantly to the critical overall mass. Our inspiration for lowering the mass-density of radiation-protective materials comes from X-ray protection in medical applications whereby composites, such as metal foams or polymer matrices loaded with particles of high-Z elements, have been investigated. An analogous approach for space applications introduces the additional requirement of structural and mechanical stability under thermal cycling. Accordingly, we design and study temperature-cycling-resistant polymer-based composites containing particles of high-Z elements. The presence of the metallic particles contributes to radiation shielding, while the polymeric matrix provides the desired mechanical properties: flexibility under thermal cycling and low density. Nanocomposite-based radiation-protective coatings will be tested in a corresponding payload experiment onboard of the upcoming Portuguese satellite INFANTE.

Announcement (pdf)

Invited by G. Cuniberti

Within the nanoSeminar

last modified: 2021.04.14 Wed
author: webadmin