2 minute read

Date: July 2024
We are delighted to introduce Matheus Mendes, a visiting PhD student from the Federal University of ABC (UFABC) in São Paulo, Brazil, where he is pursuing his doctorate in Nanosciences and Advanced Materials under the supervision of Professor Danilo Justino Carastan. Matheus has been dedicated to improving plastics by incorporating carbon nanoparticles, such as graphene and carbon nanotubes, which are 10,000 times thinner than a single hair, to enhance their strength and electrical conductivity. While there are numerous applications for conductive plastics, Matheus’s focus is on improving epoxy for lightning strike protection in airplanes. Many people are unaware that airplanes frequently get hit by lightning and require effective electrical shielding.

Currently, Matheus is experimenting with blending two different plastics to create an inner structure that necessitates less graphene to achieve conductivity, which is crucial as graphene is costly and can make plastics brittle if used excessively. Another innovative strategy he is exploring involves aligning nanoparticles using electric and magnetic fields to form conductive particle chains, potentially making the materials more cost-effective. This project is funded by SAAB AB and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

In March 2024, Matheus arrived at Chalmers for a year-long stay to collaborate with Professor Ragnar Larsson on creating digital simulations of the nanocomposites he is developing. These simulations are crucial for understanding the factors that influence the final properties of the materials and optimizing the results. Additionally, Matheus is working in our lab to study the alignment of graphene nanoplatelets and its effects on the materials. We look forward to the advancements Matheus will bring to our research during his time at Chalmers.