PhD Thesis Defence Presentations - Sandra Gkermpoura

Presentation Title (Τίτλος Παρουσίασης): Graphene/Functional Polymer composite materials
Presentation Type (Τύπος Παρουσίασης): PhD Thesis Defence Presentations
Speakers Full Name (Ονοματεπώνυμο): Sandra Gkermpoura
Speakers Affiliation (Προέλευση Ομιλητή): Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras
Seminar Room (Αίθουσα): Seminar Hall
Event Date: Tue, Jun 05 2018, Time: 13:00 - 15:00
Abstract (Περίληψη)

   This present thesis demonstrates the preparation and investigation of nanocomposites in fiber form and composite ion gels ("soft" matter) using graphene as nanofiller. The preparation of nanocomposites fibers was achieved in low boiling solvent, chloroform (CHCl3). Stable graphene dispersions were prepared by the liquid-phase exfoliation of pristine graphite in chloroform using pyrene-end functionalized PMMAs as dispersing agents. The non-covalent functionalization of the basal plane of graphene based on π-π interactions with the pyrene functionalized PMMAs leads to stable G/PMMA(Py)nhybrids which can be used as nanofiller for preparing nanocomposites fibers.

   The polymers were synthesized using the ARGET ATRP polymerization and the click chemistry. The degree of quaternization was calculated according to the GPC and Uv-Vis analyses. It was found that the degree of quaternization for the linear pyrene end-capped PMMA, Py-PMMA-Py, was 83% and for pyrene functionalized star PMMAs bearing from three, (PMMA-Py)3, until six pyrene groups, (PMMA-Py2)3, was 100% and 71.5%, respectively. The characterization of hybrid G/PMMA(Py)n was studied with several techniques, such as UV-Vis spectrophotometry, TEM, SEM and Raman spectroscopy. The telechelic Py-PMMA-Py proved considerably a more efficient dispersing agent than the mono-functional Py-PMMA and the non-functionalized PMMA. Also, shear mixing & tip sonication proved to be an effective method for graphite exfoliation in comparison to other preparation routes. The graphene concentration, CG, of hybrid G/PMMA(Py)2 increased drastically in the range of 0.25-1.2 mg/mL, as the centrifugation rated decreases. Characterization of this hybrid reveals that most of graphene sheets was few-layer graphenes (2-5 layers, ~50%) with size in the order of 1μm. Also, the presence of pyrene functionalized star PMMAs led to stable few-layered graphene sheets in chloroform. The polymer (PMMA-Py2)3 proved to be a more efficient dispersing agent than its non quaternized analogue, (PMMA-Py)3, as the characterization of the hybrids revealed. Too, the atomistic simulations showed excellent agreement with the experimental results and revealed the type of the various G/PMMA(Py)2 and G/PMMA(Py)3 conformations. More importantly, the atomistic simulations showed that the presence of pyrene functionalized PMMAs are responsible for the no-aggregation of graphene sheets after solvent evaporation during the composites’ preparation.

   As a next step, nanocomposite fibers PMMA/G_PMMA(Py)n were successfully prepared through electrospinning using G/PMMA(Py)n hybrid as nanofiller. The morphology of produced nanocomposite fibers is affected from nanofiller’s concertation. For low-concentration nanofiller, nanocomposite fibers show uniform morphology with no beads, as SEM microscopy reveals. Also, compared with the pure PMMA fibers, the nanocomposite PMMA/G-PMMA(Py)n showed thinner fibers. The existence of graphene sheets in fibers was confirmed by TEM microscopy. The preliminary data of electrical properties of nanocomposite fibers were encourageable. Especially, for the nanocomposite fiber PMMA/G-PMMA(Py)2 with graphene concentration 1 wt%, the conductivity σac increases 7-8 orders magnitude comparing with the pure PMMA fibers. Also, improved mechanical properties of nanocomposites fibers of PMMA/G-PMMA(Py)3was achieved.

   The last step of this study was the investigation of composite ion gels Polymer/Graphene in the ionic liquid [Bmim][PF6]. The composite ion gels have been investigated in terms of influence of graphene sheets to their properties (mechanical and electrical). The P(BzMA-co-tBuMA)-b-P(MMA-b-EG-b-MMA)-b-P(BzMA-co-tBuMA) and PEO-PS-PEO were choosed for the preparation of composite ion gels. It was found that the formation of gels affects the improvement of gel’s properties by the presence of graphene. Also, with the addition of graphene, the electrical properties of the composite ion gels are evidently improved with the respect to that of polymeric ion gels. As a result, the PEO-PS-PEO/Graphene in [Bmim][PF6] showed enhanced mechanical and electrical properties and thermal stability until to 100oC.

Speakers Short CV (Σύντομο Βιογραφικό Ομιλητή)











Phd in Department of Chemical Enginnering, Univerisity of Patras

"Graphene/Functional Polymer composite materials"


MSc, Polymer Science and Technology

Interdepartmental Studies. Departments of Physics, Chemistry, Material Science and Chemical

Engineering, University of Patras,

"Physical gels formed by block copolymer in an ionic liquid"


BSc, Material of Science, University of Patras





Effect of graphene on the mechanical response and ion conductivity in composite ion gels. S. S. Gkermpoura, G. Psarras C. S. Patrickios and C. Tsitsilianis*, in preparation (2018).

Star-shaped Pyrene-functional Poly(methyl methacrylates) as Dispersing Agents of Graphene in Chloroform: Towards Nanocomposite Fibrous Veils. S. S. Gkermpoura, K. D. Papadimitriou, E. N. Skountzos, I. Polyzos, M. G. Pastore Carbone, V. G. Mavrantzas, A. Kotrotsos, C. Galiotis and C. Tsitsilianis*, to be submitted (2018).

Molecular modelling combined with advanced chemistry for the rational design of efficient graphene dispersing agents. K. D. Papadimitriou, E. N. Skountzos, S. S. Gkermpoura, V. G. Mavrantzas, I. Polyzos, C. Galiotis, and C. Tsitsilianis*, ACS Macro Letters5, 24-29, (2016) Cover Story

"Salt-Induced Changes in Triblock Polyampholyte Hydrogels: Computer Simulations and Rheological, Structural, and Dynamic Characterization"

Margarita A. Dyakonova, Anatoly V. Berezkin, Konstantinos Kyriakos, Sandra Gkermpoura, Maria T. Popescu, Sergey K. Filippov, Petr Štěpánek, Zhenyu Di∥, Constantinos Tsitsilianis and Christine M. Papadakis, Macromolecules, 2015, 48 (22), 8177–8189.

"Colloidal stabilization of graphene sheets by ionazable amphiphilic block copolymers in various media", Maria-Teodora Popescu, Dimitrios Tasis,   Konstantinia D. Papadimitriou, Sandra Gkermpoura, Costas Galiotisac and Constantinos Tsitsilianis. RSC Adv. 2015, 5, 89447-89460.

"Thermo-Resistant Soft Glassy Suspensions of Polymeric Micellar Nanoparticles in Ionic Liquid", Sandra Gkermpoura, Marc Obiols-Rabasa, Zacharoula Iatridi and Constantinos Tsitsilianis, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2015, 7, 12411−12421.















11ο Panhellenic Polymer Congress, Hraklion of Grete, Greece, 3-5/11/2016

"Synthesis and Characterization of 3-arm star PMMAs Bearing Pyrene Units as Dispersing Agents of Graphene" Poster Award

K.D Papadimitriou, S. Gkermpoura, C. Galiotis, C. Tsitsilianis


2nd Workshop of Graduates and Post-Docs in Chemical Engineering, ΙΤΕ/ΙΕΧΜΗ,Univeristy of Patras21/09/2016

 "Stabilization of graphene sheets by pyrene functionalized star PMMAs"

K.D. Papadimitriou, S. Gkermpoura, I. Polyzos, C. Galiotis and C. Tsitsilianis


 4th International Symposium “Frontiers in Polymer Science”, Riva del Garda, Italy20-22/05/2015

"Synthesis and atomistic simulation of pyrene functionalized α,ω-PMMA as dispersing agent of graphene for the fabrication of polymer nanocomposites"

K. D Papadimitiou, E. N. Skountzos, S. Gkermpoura, V. G. Mavrantzas, C. Galiotis and C. Tsitsilianis


10ο Panhellenic Polymer Congress, Patras, Greece 4-6/12/2014

 "Synthesis and Characterization of Pyrene end-Functionalized PMMAs as Dispersing Agents of Graphene"

K. D. Papadimitriou, S. Gkermpoura, C.Galiotis, C.Tsitsilianis.

 "Telechelic polyelectrolyte hydrogels: tuning the dynamics by temperature"

Maria Malvina Soledad Lencina, S. Gkermpoura, Maria Rikkou-Kalourkoti Costas S. Patrickios and Constantinos Tsitsilianis


Summer school "Graphene summer school", Πάτρα, Ελλάδα14-18/07/2014


German-Greek Workshop "Structural methods for the investigation of soft responsive matter 2014", Μονάχο, Γερμανία            12-14/05/2014        

"Association behavior of P(nBuMA10-co-TEGMA10)-b-PDMAEMA100-b-P(nBuMA10-co-TEGMA10) thermoresponsive telechelic polyelectrolytes with tunable hydrophobisity"" Poster Award

Soledad-Malvina Lencina, Sandra Germpoura, Costas Patrickios and Constantinos Tsitsilianis

9ο Panhellenic Polymer Congress, Thesalloniki, Greece             29-1/12/2012

 "Physical gels formed by a triblock copolymer in an ionic liquid"

Sandra Germpoura, Zacharoula Iatridi, Constantinos Tsitsilianis