Four positions as undergraduate research students within the Master by Research curriculum of Chemical Engineering in the Surface and Colloid Engineering group are open.
The utilization of cellulose in novel materials is very much dependent on the possibility of dissolving cellulose in different media, whereby water-based solvents are particularly attractive. Recent work emphasizing the key roles of hydrophobic interactions and ionization rather than breaking of hydrogen bonds to dissolve cellulose opens up opportunities that are totally novel and game changing in this area. Dissolution of cellulose into molecular solutions followed by regeneration forms the basis for the manufacture of important renewable materials that will replace plastics. We want to extend the range materials by introducing special functions in regenerated cellulose materials to create exiting (nano)composite materials of valuable characteristics that not only can be prepared in a lab but industrially produced in larger scale through viable and sustainable processes.
To increase their utilization, physicochemical properties of cellulose (nano)composite materials need to be tuned by careful design in the preparation step.
- One project (2 students) will be focused specifically on how the mechanical properties can be designed to control; e.g. flexibility/ductility, strength, permeability.
- One project (2 students) will be focused on ways to introduce added functionality; e.g. antibacterial, optical, water resistant, flame retardant etc.
Both project routes will include design of hybrid/composite materials with e.g. nanoparticles, nanocellulose, graphene etc., where extensive knowledge in the field of nanotechnology will provide the tools to achieve the goals.
The projects will be performed in close collaboration between all the MbR students, but also with current and coming PhD students, post docs and professors in the research groups at FSCN, and collaborators at various Universities and Institutes in Europe, USA, and China.