Dr. Lucia Fernandez-BallesterNCMN Homepage

Lucia Fernandez-Ballester, Research Assistant Professor
Mechanical & Materials Engineering
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
W335 Nebraska Hall
Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0526
office: (402) 472-3994 fax: (402) 472-8292
email: lucia.fernandez@unl.edu

Current Research

Research Interests: 

My research objective aims at understanding the relationship between molecular structure, processing conditions, morphology obtained and final properties in polymers. Particularly, a special emphasis is directed towards revealing the pathway and kinetics of structure formation in real-time. 

Some specific areas of interest are:

  • Processing and flow-induced crystallization of polymers
  • Biopolymers
  • Self-assembly and nanostructures in polymers and supramolecules

A range of in-situ and ex-situ experimental techniques is needed to explore molecular characteristics, structure development, and final morphology.  Some of the experimental techniques used are differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), polarized optical microscopy (POM), real-time optical birefringence, and synchrotron X-ray scattering (WAXD/SAXS).

Recent Publications

  • Z. Ma, L Fernandez-Ballester, D. Cavallo, T. Gough, G.W.M. Peters. High-stress shear induced crystallization in isotactic polypropylene and propylene/ethylene random copolymers. Macromolecules, 2013.  ASAP. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ma302518c
  • L. Fernandez-Ballester, D.W. Thurman, W. Zhou, J.A. Kornfield. The effect of long chains on the threshold stresses for flow-induced crystallization in iPP: Shish-kebabs vs. sausages. Macromolecules, 2012. 45, 6557-6570. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ma3000384
  • H. Wang, J. Cuppens, E. Biermans, S. Bals, L. Fernandez-Ballester, K.O. Kvashnina, W. Bras, M.J. Van bael, K. Temst, A. Vantomme.  Tuning of the size and the lattice parameter of ion-beam synthesized Pb nanoparticles embedded in Si.  Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 2012.  45(3), 035301. http://iopscience.iop.org/0022-3727/45/3/035301/
  • A. Dhotel, H. Li, L. Fernandez-Ballester, L. Delbreilh, B. Youssef, X.C. Zeng,  L. Tan. Supramolecular Nanolayer Reconfiguration after Molecular Intercalation.  The Journal of Physical Chemistry, 2011.  115(21), 10351-10356. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jp112025p
  • L. Balzano, D. Cavallo, T. Erp, Z. Ma, J.W. Housmans, L. Fernandez-Ballester, G.W. Peters.  Dynamics of fibrillar precursors of shish blocks as a function of stress.  IOP Conference Series:  Materials Science and Engineering, 2010.  14, 012005. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/engineeringmechanicsfacpub/78/
  • R.K. Krishnaswamy, Q. Yang, L. Fernandez-Ballester, and J.A. Kornfield. Effect of the distribution of short-chain branches on crystallization kinetics and mechanical properties of high-density polyethylene.  Macromolecules, 2008.  41(5), 1693-1704. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ma070454h
  • L. Fernandez-Ballester, T. Gough, F. Meneau, W. Bras, F. Ania, F.J. Balta-Calleja, and J.A. Kornfield. Simultaneous birefringence, small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering to detect precursors and characterize morphology development during flow-induced crystallization of polymers.  Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 2008. 15, 185-190. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/engineeringmechanicsfacpub/66/
  • Sevegney, M.S., G. Parthasarthy, R.M. Kannan, D.W. Thurman, and L. Fernandez-Ballester. Deformation-induced morphology changes and orientation behavior in syndiotactic polypropylene. Macromolecules, 2003. 36(17):  6472-6483. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ma025774+