Conrad Lovell - Materials Science and Engineering- Graduate Student


"Properties of SWNT/Copolypeptide Bionanocomposites"


Biopolymers exhibit high shear piezoelectricity, leading to the investigation of shear forces on aerospace vehicles, and biocompatible sensors to monitor human vital signs. The functional characteristics and mechanical integrity of biopolymers can be augmented by incorporation of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs).  In this project, the material properties of SWNT-synthetic polypeptide bionanocomposites are investigated as a function of SWNT concentrations. Optical microscopy and High Resolution SEM examine the SWNT dispersion and orientation in the copolypeptide. The film’s mechanical properties, including strength, Young's modulus, and toughness increase dramatically with SWNT loadings.

The electric, dielectric and piezoelectric properties are still being investigated.