Carbon fibres are now a dominate material for aerospace, military and automotive industries - however have proven themselves to be stubbornly unreactive to most chemistries. This presents many challenges for practical applications, most prominently when carbon fibres are used as a reinforcing medium for composites. Due to a lack of adhesion at the interface between the fibre and resin carbon fibres habitually debond – leading to early failure of the composite.
Work at the Henderson lab seeks to explore the boundaries on just what chemistry can be performed on the surface of carbon fibres. In doing so we have landed on diazonium chemistry, which have a history of being incredibly useful for functionalizing a range of materials.
For more information please see our publications
Research in the Henderson Group
The Henderson group is focused on developing new surface chemistry for a diverse range of materials including (but not limited to) carbon fibres, silk-membranes, steel and titanium. The benefits of controlling surface chemistry are many, and offer immediate practical applications such as anti-fouling, anti-corrosion, surface catalysis, bio-sensing and interface entanglement/adhesion to name a few. These surface modification technologies need to also be eco-friendly, scalable and amenable to current practices.