Contact Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre, Room 3606
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave. W.
Waterloo, ON. N2L 3G1
+1 519 888 4567, ext.38654
Research interests: hybrid nanocomposites, membranes, catalysts
Professor Leonardo Simon’s research in nanotechnology is to create new properties in polymer based materials. Specifically, he is working with polymer nanocomposites; materials that have morphology controlled at the nanoscale.
Polymer nanocomposites play an important role in improving the performance of food packaging, molded automotive and electronics parts, aircraft interiors, and appliance components. This is due to the fact that a relatively low quantity of nanomaterial loading (< 5%) is capable of improving dramatically the mechanical and thermal properties, gas barrier and fire resistance without affecting optical properties, increasing density, or difficulty of processing.
Polymer Electrolyte Membranes (PEMs) are another type of nano-engineered material under investigation in Simon’s lab because of the complex morphology at the nanoscale. PEM’s are responsible for converting hydrogen and oxygen to produce clean energy in hydrogen fuel cells.
Through his research, Simon is trying to gain an understanding of how to control the morphology of hybrid (organic/inorganic) nanocomposites consisting of polymer-clays and polymer-ceramic nanopowders. Both top-down and bottom-up approaches are considered.
Controlling morphology of these materials at nanoscale is a challenge. Clays are layered aluminosilicates that have to be properly exfoliated to achieve the nanoscale. Ceramic nanopowders with individual particle size ranging between 10 to 100 nanometers tend to agglomerate in much larger domains. Simon’s group focuses on the mechanisms of polymerization reaction, chain growth and architecture of macromolecules.
Simon is also a lead investigator in Ontario’s BioCar project which is taking agricultural products, like straw, and processing those as polymer sources to develop plastics that can go into car parts manufacturing. University of Guelph researchers will develop the raw agricultural materials and study crop genetics. Simon will chemically modifying the fibres to obtain new functionality and then transforming these modified fibres into composite resins and polymers at the nano-scale. University of Windsor will incorporate these nanocomposites into automotive parts.
- PhD, Materials Science, Federal University of Rio Gradne do Sul, Brazil, 2001
- MChE, Chemical Engineering, Federal University of Rio Gradne do Sul, Brazil, 1997
- BChE, Chemical Engineering, Federal University of Rio Gradne do Sul, Brazil, 1995
- Correlation of synthesis-structure-properties of polymers
- Development of polymer nanocomposites
- Mathematical modeling of polymerization mechanisms
- Guettler, Barbara E.; Moresoli, Christine; Simon, Leonardo C., “Mechanical properties and crack propagation of soy-polypropylene composites”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 130(1), pp175-185 (2013)
- Guettler, Barbara E.; Moresoli, Christine; Simon, Leonardo C., “Contact angle and surface energy analysis of soy materials subjected to potassium permanganate and autoclave treatment”, Industrial Crops and Products, 50, pp219-226 (2013)
- Tajvidi, Mehdi; Sharma, Arathi Mohan; Simon, Leonardo C., “Thermal transitions and temperature dependent mechanical behavior of wheat straw/talc isotactic/impact modified polypropylene composites”, Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites, 32(19), pp1430-1443 (2013)
- Finkle, Andrew C.; Berry, Richard M.; Simon, Leonardo C., “Application of nanocrystalline cellulose in polycarbonate nanofibers prepared by electrospinning”, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 245 (2013)
- Almutairi, Zeyad; Ren, Carolyn L.; Simon, Leonardo, “Evaluation of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) surface modification approaches for microfluidic applications”,Colloids and Surfaces A – Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 415, pp406-412 (2012)
- Amintowlieh, Yasaman; Sardashti, Amirpouyan; Simon, Leonardo C., “Polyamide 6-wheat straw composites: Effects of additives on physical and mechanical properties of the composite”, Polymer Composites, 33(6), pp976-984 (2012)
- Amintowlieh, Yasaman; Sardashti, Amirpouyan; Simon, Leonardo C., “Polyamide 6-wheat straw composites: Degradation kinetics”, Polymer Composites, 33(6), pp985-989 (2012)
- Finkle, Andrew C.; Simon, Leonardo C., “Preparation of Polycarbonate Nanofibres containing Nanocrystalline Cellulose”, J-for-Journal of Science and Technology for Forest Products and Processes, 2(6), pp17-23 (2012)
- Maneshi, Abolfazl; Soares, Joao B. P.; Simon, Leonardo C., “An Efficient In Situ Polymerization Method for the Production of Polyethylene/Clay Nanocomposites: Effect of Polymerization Conditions on Particle Morphology”,Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 212(18), pp2017-2028 (2011)
- Mojumdar, S. C.; Moresoli, C.; Simon, L. C.; Legge, R. L., “Edible wheat gluten (WG) protein films Preparation, thermal, mechanical and spectral properties”, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 104(3), pp929-936 (2011)
- Shin, Sang-Young; Simon, Leonardo C.; Soares, Joao B. P., “Synthesis of Ethylene/Acrylonitrile Composite Elastomers with Nanosized Polyacrylonitrile Domains Using alpha-Dimine-[N,N] Nickel Dichloride/EASC”, Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 212(7), pp715-722 (2011)
- Maneshi, Abolfazl; Soares, Joao B. P.; Simon, Leonardo C., “Polyethylene/Clay Nanocomposites Made with Metallocenes Supported on Different Organoclays”,Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 212(3), pp216-228 (2011)
- Almutairi, Zeyad; Ren, Carolyn; Simon, Leonardo, “Improving the Electrokinetic Properties of PDMS with Surface Treatments”, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels and Minichannels, 2010, PTS A and B, pp331-333 (2011)
- Kundu, Sumit; Fowler, Michael W.; Simon, Leonardo C.; Abouatallah, Rami; Beydokhti, Natasha, “Open circuit voltage durability study and model of catalyst coated membranes at different humidification levels”, Journal of Power Sources, 195(21), pp7323-7331 (2010)
- Reddy, C. Ravindra; Sardashti, A. Pouyan; Simon, Leonardo C., “Preparation and characterization of polypropylene-wheat straw-clay composites”, Composites Science and Technology, 70(12), pp1674-1680 (2010)
- Reddy, C. Ravindra; Simon, Leonardo C., “Surface Modification of Wood Fiber and Preparation of a Wood Fiber-Polypropylene Hybrid by In situ Polymerization”,Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 295(10), pp906-914 (2010)
- Juergen-Lohmann, Dominik L.; Nacke, Christoph; Simon, Leonardo C.; Legge, Raymond L., “Effect of sol-gel hydrophobicity on the distribution and structure of different proteins in organically modified sol-gel thin films”, Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology, 52(3), pp370-381 (2009)
- S.-Y.A. Shin, L.C. Simon, J.B.P. Soares, G. Scholz, T.F. McKenna, “Morphology and thermal characteristics of polyethylene nanocomposites made using Montmorillonite-supported Cp2ZrCI2 and Ni-diimine precatalysts”,Macromolecular Reaction Engineering, 3(9), pp543-555 (2009).
- D.L. Jurgen-Lohmann, C. Nacke, R.L. Legge, L.C. Simon, “Preparation and methodolodgy for chemical mapping of sol-gel thin films containing lysozyme”, Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology, 50(1), pp77-86 (2009)
- Ng, Zena S.; Simon, L. C.; Elkamel, A., “Renewable agricultural fibers as reinforcing fillers in plastics”, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 96(1), pp85-90 (2009)
- Omrani, L.C. Simon, A. A. Rostami, “The effects of alumina nanoparticle on the properties of an epoxy resin system”,Materials Chemistry and Physics, 114(1), pp145-150 (2009)
- Ramirez, Isaias; Jayaram, Shesha; Cherney, Edward A.; Gauthier, Mario; Simon, Leonardo, “Erosion Resistance and Mechanical Properties of Silicone Nanocomposite Insulation”, IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, 16(1), pp52-59 (2009)
- Shin, Sang-Young A.; Simon, Leonardo C.; Soares, Joao B. P.; Scholz, Guenter; McKenna, Timothy F. L., “Gas-Phase Polymerization with Transition Metal Catalysts Supported on Montmorillonite - A Particle Morphological Study”,Macromolecular Symposia, 285, pp64-73 (2009)
- Omrani, L.C. Simon, A.A. Rostami, “Influences of cellulose nanofiber on the epoxy network information”, Materials Science and Engineering A – Structural Materials Properties Microstructure and Processing, 490 (1-2), pp131-137 (2008)
- Law, L.C. Simon, P. Lee-Sullivan, “Effects of thermal aging on isotactic polypropylene crystallinity”, Polymer Engineering and Science, 93, pp214-224 (2008)
- S. Kundu, L.C. Simon, M.W. Fowler, “Comparison of two accelerated NafionTM degradation experiments”, Polymer Degradation and Stability, 93, pp214 (2008)