Fabrication of Nanopapers and Nanoparticle Reinforced Polymeric Composites Using Vacuum-Assisted Layer-by-Layer Spraying Technique

A method to combine advantages of fiber-reinforced plastics and nanocomposites to produce a low-cost, superior lightweight material.

The Need

Nanomaterials, more specifically nanoparticle reinforced composites, are one of the best solutions for most lightweight applications. Due to the dispersion and high aspect ratio of nanoparticles, lightweight polymer nanocomposites exhibit dimensional stability, heat and flame resistance, barrier properties, and improved modulus and strength with far less reinforcement loading than conventional composites. While nanoparticles reinforce the polymer matrix, the loading of nanoparticles in polymer nanocomposites is often limited due to dispersion issues. Thus, mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites are relatively low compared with those of highly loaded conventional fiber-reinforced plastics. For nanocomposites to realize their full potential, materials that demonstrate equal or better mechanical properties compared to fiber-reinforced plastics must be developed.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. L. James Lee, have developed a method that combines the advantages of fiber-reinforced plastics and polymer nanocomposites to produce a low-cost superior composite that is lightweight and demonstrates high thermal/electric management. Long, continuous fibers provide good mechanical properties, while nanoparticles strengthen the matrix between long fibers and reduce matrix failure. The invented method can also produce multifunctional nanoparticle films, nanopaper films, or nanopapers with mixed or alternating nanoparticle layers from one to 1,000 micrometers thick.

Commercial Applications

  • Aerospace
  • Energy
  • Transportation
  • Construction Materials


  • Nanopaper is highly compatible with any resin matrix and has infinite shelf life.
  • Control over the structure allows nanopaper to perform optimally in any desired application such as wear resistance, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and EMI shielding.

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