Prof Bob Young covers cellulose nanowhiskers, carbon nanotubes and graphene in Swinburne Lecture

The Polymer Society
28 Oct 2013

The symposium was a celebration of the work carried out by Professor Young at the Materials Science Centre over the past 28 years and included talks by Professor Stephen Eichhorn, University of Exeter, and current researchers within Professor Young’s research group. The talks covered a variety of topics including cellulose nanowhiskers, carbon nanotubes and graphene.
Professor Young, recipient of the 2012 Swinburne Medal, started the Swinburne Lecture by recounting his days as an undergraduate reflecting on the theories which existed at that time for the stress distributions along fibres in composite materials. This theme was the developed into work carried out using Raman Spectroscopy to analyse the stress distributions along carbon fibres and the subsequent realisation that the theories studied many years before were in fact valid. Professor Young then went on to describe the linear relationship between the observed Raman shift and the Young’s moduli of various types of carbon fibre.
Currently, Professor Young is involved with the graphene research being carried out at Manchester University. In this context he showed Raman shift data for graphene and illustrated how it fitted exactly the same relationship as had been found previously for carbon fibre, the shift being greater due to the higher modulus of the material. Very interesting data was also presented showing the effect of the level of exfoliation of the graphene, the observed Raman shift being related to the number of graphene layers that were stacked together. Professor Young concluded his lecture by discussing the recoverable structural changes occurring in trilayer graphene material when subjected to stress, once again linking this back in history to similar observations that had been made in the 1960’s by researchers investigation graphite that had been subjected to radiation.

The Swinburne Medal is awarded every two years and nominations for 2014 are required by Friday 8th November 2013