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6.11.14 Zhang

LIGHT WEIGHT COMPOSITE MATERIALS WITH NANO-SCALE FILLERS

Lifeng Zhang, Ph.D., NC A&T and UNC-Greensboro
June 11, 2014, 10:00 am, NIA, Rm 137
Seminar Video

Abstract:
High strength/modulus to weight makes fiber reinforced polymer composites widely used in air-crafts, automobiles, sports utilities, and satellites. With the development of nanomaterials in recent years, innovative nano-scale fillers especially nanofibers have attracted growing interests in making polymer composites due to their large specific surface areas that may lead to substantial improvement of interfacial bonding strength between fillers and matrices. The materials-processing technique of electrospinning provides a viable approach for convenient fabrication of polymer, glass, ceramic, and carbon fibers with diameters ranging from nanometers to micrometers. This presentation demonstrates the latest advances in development and application of electrospun nanofibers in composite materials at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. Strategies to make a variety of nanofibrous materials for composite applications as well as attempts to achieve high performance nanocomposites are addressed.

Bio:
Dr. Lifeng Zhang is currently an assistant professor of nanoengineering at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Fiber and Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) in 2006. Prior to joining the faculty at JSNN in 2012, he worked as a postdoctoral scholar at UC Davis from 2006 to 2007 and as a research scientist from level I to level III at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology from 2007 to 2011.

Dr. Zhang has a firm background in fiber and polymer materials. He has gained his research interests in materials at nanometer scale during his Ph.D. study at UC Davis where he concentrated on the fabrication of phase separated multicomponent polymer nanofibers through electrospinning, which was a pioneer work following the attention of novel nanostructures and properties. Dr. Zhang’s research interests focus on the engineering aspects of advanced polymer, glass, ceramic, and carbon nanomaterials including nanoparticles, nanofibers and their nanocomposites. The advanced nanomaterials developed in his research have seen a wide range of applications such as high performance nanocomposites, energy conversion and storage (e.g. dye-sensitized solar cells and supercapacitors), optical/gas/bio sensors, photo-catalysis, biomedical uses (e.g. bio-separation, antimicrobial fabrics, dental composites, scaffolds for tissue engineering and controllable drug release), and etc. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, 1 book and 5 book chapters and filed 4 patent applications. His publications have been cited over 1,300 times by researchers from more than 40 countries/ territories. He was nominated to member of the Fiber Society due to his significant contributions in the field of nanofibrous materials. Dr. Zhang’s overall research goals are to understand the structural and morphological development at nanometer scale during nanomaterials processing; to design, fabricate, and characterize novel nanomaterials; and to promote nanomaterials’ commercial applications.

Contact: E-mail: lzhang@ncat.edu; l_zhang2@uncg.edu

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