On the cutting edge of polymer research
Sangermano research group is a leading broad-based polymer research group with expertise into photoinduced polymerization processes and hybrid materials. Research in our group is devoted to the design, characterization, and application of new functional polymeric materials. We have a highly interdisciplinary approach and collaborate with numerous academic and corporate partners worldwide.
UV-induced polymerization of multifunctional monomers has found a large number of industrial applications, mainly in the production of films, inks and coatings on a variety of substrates including paper, metal and wood. Moreover, it has demonstrated useful for more high-tech applications such as coating of optical fibers and fabrication of printed circuit boards.
Part of the reason for the growing importance of UV-curing techniques, both in industrial and academic research, is a peculiar characteristic that induces fast transformation of a liquid monomer into a solid polymer film having distinctive physical-chemical and mechanical properties. It can be considered environmental friendly owing to the solvent free methodology, and is usually carried out at room temperature, thus conferring added energy saving advantages.
- new functional polymeric materials with tunable properties
- polymers for 3D printing
- photopolymerization of monomers from bio-renewable resources
- photocurable hydrogels for tissue engineering
- synthesis and characterisation of photocured polymers containing graphene
- synthesis of photocured nanocapsules
- innovative gas sensors
- functionalized polymeric membrane for wastewater treatment
Our latest research
UV‐activated frontal polymerization was used for the preparation of epoxy–carbon fibre composites. The curing process was investigated showing the frontal behaviour, and the final properties of UV‐cured composites were compared with those of the same composites obtained by thermal curing in the presence of amine as hardener.
The important advantage of the UV‐activated FP process is related to the very fast polymerization compared with thermal curing, which allows high productivity, maintaining the good thermomechanical properties of the epoxy composites.
Janus hairy nanoparticles through surface photoactivation
Janus particles are nanoparticles or microparticles whose surfaces have two or more distinct physical properties. We have synthesized nanoparticles covered with polymer chains of two different polymers segregated in distinct domains. Their unique colloidal properties can be finely tuned by the grafted polymers while the characteristics of the nano-core remain unaffected.
Functionalized ultrafiltration polymeric membranes for wastewater treatment
Separation technologies based on polymeric membranes are becoming one of the most studied and implemented technologies both in industry and in academia. We have recently fabricated ultrafiltration membranes by adding an acrylic crosslinker to a polysulfone‐based formulation to obtain chemically stable crosslinked membranes without affecting their flux performance. Moreover, we have functionalized them with polydopamine to couple depth adsorption of contaminants and ultrafiltration.
Polymeric membranes for forward osmosis applications
In our lab we improved membrane performance in osmotically driven processes. Thin‐film composite polyamide membranes were prepared by introducing the highest amount of sulfonated polysulfone into the polysulfone‐based support layer.
Polymeric e-noses for gas sensing
We are exploring new frontiers of research for the creation of artificial olfactory systems. New low-cost polymeric materials have been developed in collaboration between Politecnico di Torino and the Almaden IBM Research Center in California for producing a “personal e-nose", which can be integrated into a smartphone. A simple mobile device will be able very soon to emulate our olfactory function, by smelling our food in order to know its quality or identifying the flu through the breath, before having symptoms.
Vigna, L., Fasoli, A., Cocuzza, M., Pirri, F. C., Bozano, L. D., & Sangermano, M. (2019). A Flexible, Highly Sensitive, and Selective Chemiresistive Gas Sensor Obtained by In Situ Photopolymerization of an Acrylic Resin in the Presence of MWCNTs. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 304(2), 1800453.