Novel materials have immense potential to significantly improve the functional performance of current and future technologies. Sustainability by design is a framework that aims to ensure that emerging materials are able to met (or even exceed!) desired performance metrics while also being safe to humans and the environment. This approach precludes the potential realization of adverse unintended consequences. The framework is established on the premise that material structure and physicochemical properties serve as a design handle to manipulate and tailor the desirable and undesirable outcomes. Structure-property-function (SPF) and structure-property-hazard (SPH) relationships are determined by establishing robust relationships between specific materials structure-property parameters and the desired function and inherent hazard.
Establishing Parametric Relationships
The development of robust SPF and SPH parametric relationships requires (1) systematic modification of the material structure, physical and chemical properties followed by (2) comprehensive characterization of those properties, including the desired function and hazard response profiles, and (3) identification of statistically significant correlations between the data collected. This research thrust involves development of controlled treatment methodologies, utilization of numerous techniques to fully characterize all aspects of the material, and application of multivariate statistical analysis to establish robust relationships to inform future sustainable material design .
Support for this research
U.Pitt Central Research Development Fund (CRDF)
Our seminal work in this area, Designing Nanomaterials to Maximize Performance and Minimize Implications Guided by the Principles of Green Chemistry was featured on the cover of Chemical Society Reviews, Chemical Society Review, 2015, 44, 5758-5777. DOI: 10.1039/c4cs00445k
Other relevant publications
Falinski, M. M.; Plata, D. L.; Chopra, S. S.; Theis, T. L.; Gilbertson, L. M.; Zimmerman, J. B. “Navigating nanomaterial space for performance, hazard, and cost: Approaching more responsible nanomaterial selection and design.” Nature Nanotechnology, DOI:10.1038/s41565-018-0120-4
Wang, Y. and Gilbertson, L. M. "Informing rational design of graphene oxide through surface chemistry manipulations: properties governing electrochemical and biological activities." Green Chemistry, 2017, 19, 2826-2838. DOI: 10.1039/C7GC00159B Gilbertson, L. M.; Melnikov, F.; Wehmas, L.; Anastas, P. T.; Tanguay R.; Zimmerman, J. B. “Toward Safer Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Design: Establishing a Statistical Model that Relates Surface Charge and Embryonic Zebrafish Mortality.” Nanotoxicology, 2016, 10(1), 10-19. DOI:10.3109/17435390.2014.996193 Gilbertson, L. M.; Goodwin, D. G.; Taylor, A. D.; Pfefferle, L. D.; Zimmerman, J. B. “Towards Tailored Functional Design of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWNTs): Electrochemical and Antimicrobial Activity Enhancement via Oxidation and Selective Reduction.” Environmental Science and Technology, 2014, 48 (10), 5938-5945. DOI: 10.1021/es500468y
Pasquini [Gilbertson], L. M.; Sekol, R. C.; Taylor, A. D.; Pfefferle, L. D.; Zimmerman, J. B. “Realizing Comparable Oxidative and Cytotoxic Potential of Single- and Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes through Annealing”. Environmental Science and Technology, 2013, 47 (15), 8775-8783. DOI: 10.1021/es401786s
Pasquini [Gilbertson], L. M.; Hashmi, S. M.; Sommer, T. J.; Elimelech, M.; Zimmerman, J. B. “Impact of Surface Functionalization on Bacterial Cytotoxicity of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes”. Environmental Science and Technology, 2012, 46 (11), 6297-6305. DOI: 10.1021/es300514s