Giuseppe Lazzara: Halloysite nanotubes for advanced composite materials
Professor Giuseppe Lazzara (University of Palermo, Department of Physics and Chemistry) is Co-Chairperson of the Materials Scientific Committee of the International Confederation for Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (ICTAC). He is a renowned expert in the area of thermal analysis (H-index 56, almost 10 000 citations).
Materials based on nanotubular additives are attracting the interest of many researchers because they allow tuning the properties and provides excellent mechanical responses. Moreover, the hollow morphology is considered strategic for the loading of active species (anticorrosives, antiacids, drugs, antioxidants) for long term treatments and slow controlled release. These features can be employed in many industrial applications such as smart coating, food packaging, drug delivery systems, flame retardants and so on.
Within this topic, halloysite nanotubes are considered very promising. They are naturally occurring two-layered aluminosilicate characterized by a hollow tubular structure, with high biocompatibility. Due to their high anisosymmetric structures, halloysite nanotubes can form liquid crystalline phases. To improve the nanoparticles dispersibility in solvent media, the selective surface functionalization is typically carried out. The different charges between the inner positive and the outer negative surfaces of halloysite nanotubes allows for targeted ionic exchange with cationic and anionic species (surfactants, polymers).
Besides the interest towards the aqueous dispersions, dried polymer/halloysite composites as well as geopolymers are attractive in material science. The seminar will report on some perspective hybrid-materials based on halloysite with a special focus to applications in conservation and protection of cultural heritage.