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ResearchslashSRA 03

Project 3.5.2: Design and Synthesis of Carbon-based Chainmaille Structures for Flexible, Ultra-lightweight Protection

The chainmail motif is commonly recognized as the fundamental component of early forms of lightweight, flexible protection of macroscopic dimensions. Chainmail materials patterned at the micro- and nano- scales also hold distinct advantages. The viral capsid of the double-stranded DNA phage HK97 consists of interlocking, identical proteins associated as hexamers and pentamers forming icosahedrons that are far stronger than alternate structures. Despite the potential advantages, surprisingly few reports of micro- and nano- patterned chainmail structures appear in the literature, primarily because of the difficulty in their fabrication. This project seeks to carbon chain mail structures, specifically composed from graphene and carbon nanotubes, to develop new methods for the generation of light weight and flexible protection structures. This project capitalizes on our recent discovery of a solution phase dispersion of very large area (> 10 um2) bilayer and trilayer graphene from our previous ISN-2 efforts. The current effort explores a variety of both bottom-up and top-down assembly methods that are, to date, completely novel, in order to address the challenge of interlocking loop and woven structures that assemble through chemical and physical interactions. Chain mail structures of this type require fundamentally new methods of nanoparticle synthesis, functionalization and assembly. The resulting candidate structures that result from these efforts will be tested mechanically at each stage to enable structure-property design rules for these unique chain mail structures.


Project 3.1.3 Researchers

Prof. Micahel Strano, Department of Chemical Engineering
Prof. Brian Wardle, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

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