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Interface Characterization in Sustainable Composites


Material Measurement Laboratory, Materials Science and Engineering Division

RO# Location
50.64.21.B7500 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Beers, Kathryn L. 301.975.2113
Gilman, Jeffrey W. 301.975.6573


Compared to conventional petroleum-based products, bio-based materials (e.g., monomers, polymers and nanomaterials, such as cellulose nano-fibers, bacterial surfactants, and plasticizers) carry a higher degree of chemical functionality. This creates complex, hierarchical structures with incredible potential for advanced materials applications, but which also present significant measurement challenges. To enable the use of biopolymers in composites, an unprecedented effort must be launched to develop the fundamental structure-property and processing-property relations that will enable these materials to provide the necessary performance in the wide spectrum of applications envisioned. For example, quantitative measurement methods need to be developed to evaluate the filler/nanoparticle biopolymer interface. As a result of the rich interfacial functionality present in biopolymer composites, which provide for stress transfer, templating, and nucleation, this interface has the potential to enable biopolymers to outperform petrochemical polymer composites. New methods to characterize the interface are of interest, including advancement of our ongoing work on the use of FRET between fluorescent nanoparticles and fluorescent biopolymers. Because of the large material parameter space new high throughput methods are also attractive both for the preparation and characterization of bio-composite libraries, and also for the investigation of their performance properties.


Sustainability; Interface; Composites; Fluorescence; Nanocomposite; Bio-based polymer;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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