Isabella Vasconcelos Joviano dos Santos, Brazil

Isabella started her studies in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering in 2012 at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil. In her first year, she began working in the Composites and Polymers Laboratory where she developed block copolymer (BC) based nanocomposites. For two years, she worked with BC self-assembly, characterising the thermomechanical properties of self-assembled aluminosilicate nanocomposites and studying the different morphologies achieved by BC systems.

In 2014, Isabella participated in a one-year exchange programme at Colorado School of Mines. During that year she also worked at Cornell University with the Wiesner Group, which is focused on structure-directing inorganic materials using BC self-assembly for several applications. She won honourable mention at UFMG Science Week and earned second place at the 2016 AISTech Student Contest Competition.

Isabella is currently an intern at Vallourec, Brazil. Upon completing her engineering degree, she plans to apply for a postgraduate position in Materials Science.

Block Copolymers Self-assembly: Structurally Controlled Materials Directing Future Energy Applications

The scientific community continuously seeks to develop sustainable energy sources to avoid the environmentally harmful effects of fossil fuels. Block copolymers (BCs) show promising applications in energy materials, where high surface area combined with controllable mesoscale pore size distributions are desirable. Owing to their unique self-assembly properties, BCs were successfully used to control feature size, morphology and porosity of various functional inorganic materials on the mesoscale.

In contrast to usual top-down techniques, bottom-up self-assembly is an efficient and low cost alternative to build 3D periodically organised structures. Functionality and performance control, essential for building energy conversion and storage devices, are achieved via innovative combined assembly utilising hard and soft chemistry techniques. Although a few challenges regarding mesoporous materials remain, BC self-assembly-directed mesostructures provide a fertile area for energy materials applications.

This presentation will explain and discuss the highlights of BC self-assembly in the development of structurally controlled materials.


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