The capabilities of the lab cover the range from processing materials, to characterizing and understanding physical & chemical properties (both experimentally and computationally), to evaluating the performance and upscaling the technology to a pilot / semi-industrial production. We work with partners both from academia and industry.
Our research and competences are geared towards a broad range of energy and building applications. We have strong expertise in processing, synthesis and characterization of multi-functional porous or mesoporous silica, polymeric or composite materials, so-called xerogels and aerogels. Furthermore, we use sol-gel processes for the synthesis of functional materials such as thin films, adsorbents and mixed-oxide materials.
Materials synthesis and processing
- Sol-gel synthesis of porous materials
- Pore structure engineering
- Inorganic (silica, carbon)/ organic (synthetic and bio- polymer based) aerogels
- Organic / inorganic composite materials
- Systematic modification of physical properties by chemical modification of aerogels
- Ambient and supercritical drying
- Thin-film deposition (spin or dip coating)
Characterization & testing
- Thermal insulation properties
- Mechanical properties
- Electron microscopy (SEM, TEM)
- Spectroscopy (solid state NMR, FT-IR, UV-Vis)
- X-Ray tomography (TOMCAT), scattering and imaging techniques
- Surface and pore structure characterization (pore size, porosity, pore shape; BET)
Upscaling & product-development
- Development of new high-performance insulation products
- Scale-up of production technology for industrial manufacturing of aerogels
- Consulting for building implementation of new building materials
Theoretical Methods and Modelling of Materials
- Screening/selection of materials for sorption applications.
- Modelling of thermal and mass transport in porous materials.
- Gelation of colloidal gels.
- Adsorption in porous materials.
- Classical molecular dynamics
- Metropolis and Grand Canonical Monte Carlo
- Statistical Aggregagion Methods (DLA, DLCA and others)
- Lumped materials model for coupled heat and mass transport
- Atomistic modelling of porous materials and colloidal systems
- Statistical Analysis of experimental results
Dr. Sandra Galmarini
PhD Materials Science_ Atomistic Simulation of cementitious systems, EPFL