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High Aspect Ratio Carbon-based Nanocomposites


Project timeline
July 2008
48 months
June 2012
General Information
High aspect ratio carbon-based nanoparticles (nanotubes (CNT), nanofibres (CNF), and nanosheets or exfoliated graphite (CNS)) will be introduced into bulk polymers, into polymeric foams and into membranes. It is expected that such nanofillers will tremendously improve and modify the properties of these families of materials, allowing them to reach new markets. However, a common and fundamental problem in polymer-based nanocomposites is the large extent of agglomeration of the nanoparticles due to their high surface to volume ratio. Therefore, techniques to control deagglomeration and possibly further organization of these high aspect ratio nanoparticles in polymeric materials remain a challenge.

The HARCANA project will therefore aim at mastering, at the nanometric and mesoscale level, the spatial organization of carbon-based nanoparticles (CNP) with various surface functionalities, sizes and shapes having large aspect ratios in bulk, foamed and thin film (membranes) polymers by using industrially viable processes. The aim of HARCANA is to generate polymer-based nanocomposites with a percolating nanoparticle structure that is reinforcing the material and imparts it with improved electrical and thermal conductivity at a minimum of nanoparticle loading. In order to control this CNP organization within the polymer matrix, a large set of techniques will be used. They range from synthetic approaches ("grafting from", "grafting to", "grafting through", emulsion polymerization) to (reactive) melt or solution blending processes, and to preparation in supercritical CO2. The aim is to generate new classes of engineering materials for various applications like EMI shielding, antistatic packaging materials and membranes, as well as scaffolds for tissue engineering.
HARCANA is composed of five industrial and seven academic partners from five European countries. The project is driven by industry, which is involved in the application of polymer-based nanocomposites in three major directions: membranes (GMT, BORSIG), foams (ECCOSORB) and bulk materials (INERGY).
EU-Programme Acronym and Subprogramme AreaFP7-NMP-2007-LARGE-1; NMP-2007-1.1-1
Project TypeLarge-Scale Integrating Collaborative Project
Contract NumberNMP3-LA-2008-213277
Co-ordinatorHelmholtz Zentrum Hereon (DE)
Total Eligible Costs (€) Hereon Eligible Costs (€) EC Funding for Hereon (€)
Contact Person at Hereon Prof. Dr. Volker Abetz, Institute of Polymer Research, PM Phone: +49 4152 87 2461, Fax : +49 4152 87 2444
E-mail contact
Worldwide Europe

Borsig Membrane Technology GmbH (DE), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (ES), Emerson & Cuming Microwave Products NV (BE), FutureCarbon GmbH (DE), GMT Membrantechnik GmbH (DE), Inergy Automotive Systems Research sa (BE), MATERIA NOVA (BE), National R-D Institute for Chemistry and Petrochemistry - ICECHIM (RO), Régie Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles de Paris (FR), Université Catholique de Louvain (BE), Université de Liège (BE)
Last Update: 18. May 2021