Current Research

Current Research

Nanostructured Materials

  • Synthesis of nanomaterials (nano-particles, tubes, platelets, porous materials, etc.)


Synthesis of alpha-zirconium phosphate (α-ZrP) with various lateral dimensions

Sun, L.; Boo, W. J.; Sue, H.-J; Clearfield, A. New Journal of Chemistry 2007, 31, 39-43.
  • Polymer Nanocomposites


Epoxy/α-ZrP nanocomposites with varying degree of dispersions

Sun, L.; Boo, W. J.; Liu, J.; Clearfield, A.; Sue, H.-J.; Verghese, N. E.; Pham, H. Q.; Bicerano, J. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering 2009, 294, 103-113.
  • Bio-nanocomposites


Synthesis of biomimetic materials using layered compounds and biomacromolecules (A: a natural nacre; B: synthetic α-zirconium phosphate, which show similarities)

Darder, M.; Aranda, P.; Ruiz-Hitzky, E. Adv. Mater. 2007, 19, 1309-1319; Sun, L.; Boo, W. J.; Sue, H.-J.; Clearfield, A. New J. Chem. 2007, 31, 39-43.
  • Layer-by-Layer self-assembly
    • Thin films and fibers


Electrospun Magnetic Polystyrene/Nickel Nanoparticle Fibers

Chen, X.; Wei, S.; Gunesoglu, C.; Zhu, J.; Southworth, C. S.; Sun, L.; Rutman, D.; Karki, A. B.; Young, D. P.; Guo, Z. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 2010, 211, 1775-1783.

Solid State Chemistry

  • Layered compounds and intercalation/exfoliation chemistry


The different intercalation progresses at below and above intercalating energy threshold

Sun, L.; O’Reilly, J. Y.; Kong, D.; Su, J. Y.; Boo, W. J.; Sue, H.-J.; Clearfield, A. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2009, 333, 503-509.
  • Porous materials, pillared layered compounds
  • Functional ceramics and glasses


Photoluminescence spectra of Eu-doped oxyfluoride aluminosilicate glasses excited by 361 nm UV light.

Lin, Z.; Zeng, H.; Yang, Y.; Liang, X.; Chen, G.; Sun, L. Journal of the American Ceramic Society 2010, 93, 3095-3098.

Polymeric materials

  • Fluoropolymers


Nafion® doped with polyamidoamine dendrimers

Sun, L.; Zhu, H.; Felling, K. W.; Street, S. C.; O’Brien, B. A.; Thrasher1, J. S. submitted to Journal of Materials Chemistry.
  • Polyolefins and thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs)
  • Bio-polymers
  • Polymer composites/nanocomposites and blends
  • Safer/greener polymeric materials for food packaging
  • Polymer processing (injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, thermoforming, biaxial stretching, new processing technique development, etc.)


Injection-Stretch-Blow Molded (ISBM) polypropylene containers with similar clarity to polyethylene terephthalate containers

Sun, L.; Musgrave, M. Annual Technical Conference - Society of Plastics Engineers. June 22-24, 2009, Chicago, IL.

Green Science

  • Synthesize/isolate/derive valuable materials from biomass, such as harvesting silicon based materials from rice husks


Highly active biogenic silica nanoparticles from rice husks

Wang, W.; Martin, J. C.; Fan, X.; Han, A.; Luo, Z.; Sun, L. Silica Nanoparticles and Frameworks from Rice Husk Biomass. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2012, 4, 977-981.
  • Polylactic acid and other bio-based polymeric materials
  • Ionic liquids and their applications