UNSW School of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering
Synthesis of MWCNTs-Based Nanostructures and Nanofluids
Sylvain Coulombe - McGill University, Montreal (QC), Canada

Sylvain Coulombe, at UNSW SPREE, 14 August 2013

Sylvain Coulombe (45Min)

McGill University, Montreal (QC), Canada

Sylvain Coulombe Seminar at SPREE UNSW


Due to their excellent thermal and electrical properties, broadband absorptivity, extreme aspect ratio, ease of synthesis and surface modification, multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are ideal supports for heterogeneous nanostructures which find applications in fields as varied as solar energy harvesting, renewable fuel production and cancer treatment. In this talk, I will report on the development of multiple unit operations which, upon integration, provide flexible means to produce multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-supported heterogeneous nanostructures and stable engineered colloidal suspensions (MWCNT-based nanofluids). These main unit operations consist of thermal chemical vapour deposition (t-CVD) for the synthesis of MWCNTs directly from stainless steel meshes, low-pressure capacitively-coupled RF (13.56 MHz) plasma polymerization/functionalization, and pulsed laser ablation (PLA) synthesis of nanoparticles (NPs). Three successful application examples will be discussed: i) High temperature-stable MWCNT nanofluid for solar thermal energy harvesting; ii) MWCNT-supported Ni nanoparticles (NPs) catalyst for H2 production; iii) Au NPs-decorated MWCNT nanofluids as optically-active biological media for optical therapeutics.

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Brief Bio

Sylvain Coulombe, ing., Ph.D. is the Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University, Montreal (QC), Canada

Prof. Coulombe was born in 1969 in Chibougamau, Northern Quebec, Canada. He received the B.Sc. Physics and the M.Sc.A. in Chemical Engineering from Universite de Sherbrooke in 1991 and 1994, respectively. He received the Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from McGill University in 1997. From 1997 to 2001 he worked as a Senior Research Scientist and Project Leader with General Electric Global Research in Schenectady, NY. He returned to his Alma Mater in 2001 as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, where he is now a Full Professor and the Department Chair. Prof. Coulombe currently supervises and co-supervises 7 PhD and 3 MEng students. His main research and development activities aim at the development of novel plasma sources and processes for the synthesis of nanostructures and nanofluids for solar energy harvesting, mass transfer intensification and separation, and optical therapeutics. He is also a recognized leader in the emerging field of plasma medicine. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and more than 120 participations to national and international conferences. He is a co-inventor of 7 US patents (one pending). In 2010, he won the McGill University Carrie M. Derick Award for his outstanding contribution to graduate teaching and supervision. He is the father of two children. He is an avid cyclist and an overly optimistic bike mechanic.