WP3: EXPERIMENTAL TESTS ON NANOMATERIALS AND PRODUCTION
The synthesis and characterization of novel nanomaterials with well-known structures, crystalline
phases, shapes, sizes and porosities are very important for breakthroughs in nanotechnologies.
The challenge is to achieve perfect control of nanoscale-related properties, by correlating the
parameters of the synthesis process with the resulting nanostructure. Therefore, the aim is to
unequivocally characterize both the material nanostructure and the morphological and physical
properties of the novel nanomaterials and, simultaneously, to optimise such properties for using
them in nanocomposites for building elements. In the context of the mechanical properties of
such nanomaterials, a detailed experimental campaign is performed at the nanoscale to measure:
Young’s modulus, compressive and tensile strengths, hardness, fracture toughness, scratch
resistance and friction coefficients of novel nanomaterials, in order to overcome the lack of
knowledge. Then, the obtained experimental data are used to verify the accuracy of analytical and
numerical solutions. Finally, in addition to the more common used production techniques,
nanostructures can be also manufactured by using 3D printing technology (that is, additive
manufacturing technology), allowing the manufacturing of complex nanostructural shapes, made
of customized materials, with reduced costs of production. Within this framework, the additive
manufacturing of nanomaterial is for the first time developed by using single atoms as building
blocks to shape 3D nanostructures. Tools such as electron and ion beams, cantilevers of atomic
force microscopes, and carbon nanotubes are, indeed, employed to produce 3D objects, while
they have been used only in shaping 2D objects until now.
The tasks to be undertaken for WP1 are the following.
SubWP 3.1 – MATERIAL CHARACTERISATION OF NANOMATERIALS
T3.1.1 Specimen cross-sections are prepared through Focused Ion Beam (FIB), and 3D images are
taken via SEM/TEM;
T3.1.2 Nanoparticles sizes, distribution, porosity and chemical composition are
determined through high resolution SEM;
T3.1.3 Crystallographic and chemical analyses are performed through environmental SEM with
T3.1.4 Surface roughness is determined by using a profilometer;
T3.1.5 Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is used to evaluate nanomaterials geometry,
magnetic/electrical properties and thermal conductivity.
SubWP 3.2 – MECHANICAL CHARACTERISATION OF NANOMATERIALS
T3.2.1 Young’s modulus, hardness and fracture toughness of nanomaterials are evaluated by
means of nanoindentation tests;
T3.2.2 Scratch tests are performed for nanomaterial friction parameters;
T3.2.3 Tensile and compressive strengths are determined by using environmental SEM equipped
with an in-situ tensile module.
SubWP 3.3 – 3D PRINTING
T3.3.1 A novel printing technology is developed to shape 3D nanostructures by using single atoms
as building blocks.