John Zhanhu Guo, Ph.D.
Integrated Composites Laboratory
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
University of Tennessee Knoxville
Knoxville, TN 37996
Tel: (865) 974-2933
Dr. Guo is the director of the Integrated Composites Laboratory (ICL). Our ICL focuses on advanced materials preparation, characterization and their applications. The researchers have developed unique methods to prepare polymer nanocomposites reinforced with different kinds of nanoparticles encompassing ceramics, nanocarbon and magnetic metals. Except using the commercially available nanoparticles, the team has also creatively synthesized hollow, core-shell and chain like nanostructures for preparing nanocomposites, developed an in-situ composite fabrication method through wet chemical reduction method in the polymer solution, electropolized conducive monomers for the nanocoating formation as well. In addition, different shells surrounding the magnetic core have also been discovered with a possibly significant effect on the biomedical and energy areas.
ICL has been investigating the mechanical, electrical, optical, magnetic, electronic, electrochromic, and electron transport phenomena in the nanoscale materials. Through introducing unique interfacial interactions between the nanoparticles and the polymer matrix and achieving uniform particle dispersion with coupling agent/surfactant, the team has achieved a series of strengthened polymer nanocomposites with the matrix ranging from thermoplastics, rubbers and thermosettings.
The microwave absorption of the magnetic nanocomposites has been evaluated exhibiting a significant weight reduction with a comparable performance. The unique nanofillers with tunable permittivity and permeability (via carbon nanotubes and nanoiron coating) were designed and created for electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding and electromagnetic radiation (EMR) absorption. In addition, the annealing effect (conventional vs microwave heating) on the polymer matrix has been an interesting topic in changing the matrix conductivity and the formed components.
A giant magnetoresistance (GMR) has been observed in the carbonized polymer nanocomposite systems, and unique conductive polymers and their nanocomposites. Theoretical foundations for the positive and negative GMR signals have been built to serve as guidance for selecting advanced nanocomposites and building modern GMR sensors.
Meanwhile, we are targeting to revolutionize the traditional chemical engineering by introducing the nanochemicals and nanoenergineering into the conventional Chemical Engineering disciples. These include the fluid dynamics, kinetics, thermodynamics, etc. These will facilitate the practical applications of nanochemicals such as nanoadsorbents for heavy metal removal from polluted water, reduced viscosity for polymer processing, etc.
Besides the above nanostructural research, Dr. Guo has also done quite a lot on the environmental-related research. He has got involved in the coal desulfurization using wet chemical method in SDUST (1995-1996), spent more than two years in the tail gas desulfurization (sulfur dioxide, SO2) using hollow fiber membrane modulus (1996-1999), and one year full-time employee as an Associate Engineer to design the Catalyst Pilot in Beijing Research Institute of Chemical Industry (1999-2000).
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