Dr Shirin Alexander
- Sêr Cymru II Fellow
- Research Officer, Swansea University (UK)
- Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Bristol (UK)
- PhD, University of Bristol (UK)
- Member, Joint RSC/SCI Colloids Committee
Green Low Surface Energy Materials
Aim and Objectives
This fellowship is to develop novel fluorine-free superhydrophobic (water-repelling) surfaces, made from readily available non-toxic and economical branched low surface energy materials (LSEMs). These have important advantages over the existing LSEMs, including biodegradability, environmental acceptance and are cheaper to mass produce compared with current superhydrophobic materials which are made typically using fluorocarbons. Fluorinated compounds have significant environmental risks owing to bio-persistence and bio-accumulation, and are also extremely costly. The applications of low surface energy surfaces vary from protective or anti-adhesion coatings and anti-fouling to environmental and biomedical applications. The research will focus on diverse areas from fundamental science to applications that rely on LSEMs involving:
- To understand the fundamental structure-property relationship that give non-fluorinated hydrocarbon (HC) materials superhydrophobic properties as good as fluorinated materials.
- To design and synthesise novel functionalized nanoparticles using low surface energy hydrocarbon chains.
To develop innovative low surface energy products for applications of superhydrophobic surfaces where the use of non-hazardous substituents offers an environmental, economic, or health benefit over fluorinated materials.
This project has received funding from the West Wales and the Valleys ERDF Programme 2014-2020 under project number 80761-SU-021.