The head of the research programme of material research is prof. Dr. Ing. Miroslav Černík, CSc. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Basic research in this research programme is focused on a complete physical description of the processes that take place in the electrospinning of polymer solutions and melts. The development (technological) part specializes in new process variants and their modifications. The basic research activities will be: electrospinning, preparation of various types of nanosurface treatments and preparation of composites based on nanomaterials.
Applied research of nanomaterials is focused on exploring the properties of nanomaterials and their utilization for specific applications, such as the development of specific products, especially filters, surface treatments in medicine and engineering, and biotechnology materials for water treatment and other sanitation procedures.
The concept of the research programme Material research
The theme of nanomaterials is designed into a set of five activities in the direction of basic research - applied research - implementation.
Basic research includes the study of the physical processes associated with the formation of nanomaterials and a description of the physical principles of electrospinning. Given the relative newness of the field many of the physical processes are yet to be described in detail. Knowledge of their physical nature, important variables and their influence is necessary to control preparation processes and the properties of the prepared materials. Knowledge of the physical laws of the processes is obtained through the construction of electrohydrodynamic models and comparing them with experimental results. Polymer physics instruments are used to describe the electrospinning process. The theoretical basis of a physical description of the phenomenon of electrospinning is self-organization based on the mechanism of fast-growing instability. This mechanism is subject to experimental study of nanofibres and its parameters. The aim of this part is a complete description of the physical processes that take place in electrospinning of polymer solutions and melts as a basis for informed development of technologies and their control.
In the development (technological) section are developed technologies for the preparation of nanosurfaces and nanofibres as well as their variants. Nanofibres are created from various types of organic and inorganic polymers in the form of solutions and melts. It is necessary to study the molecular weight of the polymers and their distribution, electrical conductivity and the surface tension of solutions, interaction of macromolecules and solvents, rheological properties and other parameters in relation to the course and performance of the electrospinning and qualitative characteristics of products. In the area of nanosurfaces are studied processes of their formation from diamond, carbon, metals and other materials depending on the methodology of their preparation and process parameters. The output of this part will be new process variants and their modifications.
Based on the results of the first two parts of the R&D process, prototypes and laboratory functional models of machinery will be constructed and materials for the construction of operating lines or their components will be created. The construction includes the choice of materials, actuators and control devices suitable for environments with high electrical potential and an explosive or chemically aggressive environment. An example of the modification of basic technologies for the production of the developed flat nanofibrous formations is part of the production line for linear and three-dimensional nanofibrous formations. For the most part, the project involves the participation of workers from the research programme Competitive Engineering
Applied research of the properties of nanomaterials
Applied research of the geometric, surface, physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials is a necessary basis for their use in practice. Particular emphasis in the research will be placed on the study of nanowires and nanoparticles based on metals and their oxides.
Application in practice
Application of nanomaterials is being developed in the following directions: nanofibres for filtration of gases and liquids, sound-absorbing materials, covers for wounds and other medical materials. In addition, materials for remedial processes, tissue engineering and composites or nanosurfaces and nanofibre materials for implants and tissue engineering. Another direction is the development of nanoparticles for treatment of wastewater or functional nanosurfaces for photocatalytic purification and sterilization.