PhD Thesis Defence Presentations - Christos N. Pavlou

Presentation Title (Τίτλος Παρουσίασης): Production & Characterization Of Graphene Based Polymer Nanolaminates
Presentation Type (Τύπος Παρουσίασης): PhD Thesis Defence Presentations
Speakers Full Name (Ονοματεπώνυμο): Christos N. Pavlou
Speakers Affiliation (Προέλευση Ομιλητή): Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras
Seminar Room (Αίθουσα): "A. C. Payatakes" Library
Event Date: Mon, Jan 10 2022, Time: 11:15 - 14:15
Abstract (Περίληψη)

Graphene, with its superior mechanical, electrical and thermal properties, is the perfect candidate as reinforcement in lightweight, high strength composite materials with interesting multi-functionalities. Since now, graphene has been adopted mainly in the form of separate flakes (e.g. GNPs) for the production of large-scale composites. Nonetheless, the overall physical performance (e.g. mechanical, electrical and thermal properties) of graphene-flake reinforced composites may be far below the expectations and this has been attributed to the small lateral size of the particles that leads to inefficient stress transfer with the polymer matrix. An alternative way to overcome this issue is represented by the incorporation of large size CVD graphene sheets in polymer laminates.

In this PhD thesis, it is proposed a novel bottom-up approach for the production of macro-scale CVD graphene/polymer nanolaminates based on the combination of ultra-thin casting, wet transfer and floating deposition. Actually, by casting ultra-thin polymer films, it was possible to produce macroscale nanolaminates in a wide range of graphene volume fractions with the potential to outperform the current state-of-the-art graphene-based composite materials in both mechanical properties, electrical conductivity and other multi-functionalities (e.g. thermal conductivity, EMI shielding, Joule heating).

Freestanding graphene/poly (methyl methacrylate) nanolaminates (Gr/PMMA) have been produced with layer numbers ranging from 10 to 100 and volume fractions of 0.044 to 0.5%. Uniaxial tensile tests have highlighted the effective reinforcement provided by graphene in the nanolaminate configuration, with effective contribution in both the Young’s modulus (with increase up to 250%) and the ultimate strength (up to 100%) of the produced Gr/PMMA nanolaminates. Mechanical behaviour have been probed also by using in-situ Raman spectroscopy combined with uniaxial tensile tests, that shed light on some important differences of CVD graphene reinforcement compared to perfect exfoliated monolayer graphene, in terms of strain sensitivities and Grüneisen parameter.  Also, mechanical properties of the nanolaminates at zero strain have been estimated through Brillouin Light Scattering, which is a non-invasive technique, thus eliminating the possibility of strain hardening upon loading.

A systematic characterization of physical properties of the produced Gr/PMMA nanolaminates has been carried out and has highlighted excellent behavior in both electrical and thermal conduction. In fact, the in-plane electrical conductivity has been found to increases with graphene content up to 25000 S/m for 1% vol in graphene, and the in-plane thermal conductivity can achieve values of 15 W/mK for the same graphene content. Furthermore, other impressive multifunctionalities have been observed for the produced systems, such as a record EMI shielding behavior in the THz range and Joule heating phenomena.

Speakers Short CV (Σύντομο Βιογραφικό Ομιλητή)

Christos N. Pavlou graduated in 2010 from the Department of Materials Science of the University of Patras. At the same time, he had already gained 5 years of work experience in the Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems & Automation (LMS) at the  Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department of the University of Patras; where he completed his BSc Thesis entitled sd "Investigation of micromachining operations and tool wear". In 2010 he worked in the industry for the production of silicon wafers in the field of photovoltaic systems. In 2013 he obtained his Master's degree from the Interdepartmental Program of Polymer Science and Technologies of the University of Patras. His Master's thesis was conducted at the Laboratory of Advanced Polymeric and Hybrid Nanomaterials (AP&HNRL) at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Patras, entitled as "Blending of Nano-composites based on bio-based polymers with inclusions of Organic Nanoparticles". In 2014 he joined the Composite Materials Laboratory (CNML) of FORTH / ICE-HT. Then, in 2015 he enrolled in the postgraduate program of the Department of Chemical Engineering as a PhD candidate. He was integrated in the research team of the Laboratory of Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras in order to conduct his PhD thesis on the graphene based nanocomposites, under the supervision of Professor Costas Galiotis. Throughout, his career he has participated in a large number of research projects where he received funding as a postgraduate fellow. His research interests are focused on the exploitation of graphene's superiorer intrisic properties for the development of new and novel multifunctional materials based on graphene.


1. Maria Giovanna Pastore Carbone, Anastasios C. Manikas, Ioanna Souli1, Christos Pavlou & Costas Galiotis, Mosaic pattern formation in exfoliated graphene by mechanical deformation. Nature Communications, 2019. 10(1): p. 1572

2. M.F. Pantano, C. Pavlou, M.G. Pastore Carbone, C. Galiotis, N.M. Pugno, G. Speranza, Highly Deformable, Ultrathin Large-Area Poly(methyl methacrylate) Films, ACS Omega 6(12) (2021) 8308-8312.

3. B. Liu, C. Pavlou, Z. Wang, Y. Cang, C. Galiotis, G. Fytas, Determination of the elastic moduli of CVD graphene by probing graphene/polymer Bragg stacks, 2D Materials 8(3) (2021) 035040

4. C. Androulidakis, M. Kotsidi, G. Gorgolis, C. Pavlou, L. Sygellou, G. Paterakis, N. Koutroumanis, C. Galiotis, Multi-functional 2D hybrid aerogels for gas absorption applications, Nature Scientific Reports 11(1) (2021) 13548.

5. C. Pavlou, M.G. Pastore Carbone, A.C. Manikas, G. Trakakis, C. Koral, G. Papari, A. Andreone, C. Galiotis, Effective EMI shielding behaviour of thin graphene/PMMA nanolaminates in the THz range, Nature Communications 12(1) (2021) 4655.