General description. Carbon-based graphitic nano and micro materials have attracted the interest of scientific community for their extraordinary properties. These materials have shown great versatility due to the possibility to chemically combine them with different elements through covalent and non-covalent interactions. As an example, once combined with other polymeric structures the obtained composites exhibited improved performances such as high strength, stability and hardness. The nano/microstructure and the chemical composition of these materials permits also the increase of surface area and the hydrophobicity of the nanocomposite. Moreover, the sp2 structures of the atoms allows the fabrication of nanocomposites flexible and with high conductivity.
Scientific strategies. In this scenario we are working on the application of graphitic carbon based nano and micro composites for different applications.
One of the main topic is represented in the use of these materials for the absorption and adsorption of toxic substances from the environment to remediate contaminated sites. We work on different materials that are easy to manipulate and capable to remove oil, phenols and heavy metals in which adsorbent phase is integrated in porous matrices . Different carbon-based adsorbent phases are also used such as carbon nanotubes and graphitic powder obtained from waste recycling. Moreover, the materials can be also produced in magnetic form, to increase their manipulability.
Another topic of our interest is the use of porous composite materials based on graphitic carbon combined with polymers as piezoresistive sensors to fabricate wearables devices for health monitoring and robotic skins.