Lucia Fernandez-Ballester

Lucia Fernandez-Ballester

Lucia Fernandez-Ballester
Contact Information:
NH W332
City Campus (Lincoln)
(402) 472-3994
(402) 472-8292 (Fax)

Research Assistant Professor
Academic Degrees
  • Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
  • M.S., California Institute of Technology
  • B.S., University of Alicante
Areas of Research and Professional Interest
  • Processing and flow-induced crystallization of polymers
  • Conjugated polymers
  • Nucleation control in polymers
  • 3D printing 
  • Hierarchical structures and self-assembly
  • Biopolymers

About Lucia Fernandez-Ballester

My research goal is to achieve optimal and detailed control of the morphology and properties of semicrystalline polymers so that growing technological needs can be addressed.  In order to enable rational design of materials and processes, I seek a fundamental understanding of the relationship between polymer molecular structure, processing conditions, morphology and final properties.  I place particular emphasis in revealing the impact of small changes in polymer molecular architecture and chemical makeup, and in exploring how the pathway of structure formation can be selected by using appropriate processing conditions.  Ultimately, manipulation and fine control of polymer morphology and properties can lead to advanced and complex materials.

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).

Selected Publications

  • L.R. Zheng, L. Fernandez-Ballester, G.W.M. Peters, Z. Ma, “Concomitant Crystallization in Propylene/Ethylene Random Copolymer with Strong Flow at Elevated Temperatures”, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 57, 6870-6877 (2018).
  • B. Schammé, E. Dargent, and L. Fernandez-Ballester, “Effect of Random Ethylene Comonomer on Relaxation of Flow-Induced Precursors in Isotactic Polypropylene,” Macromolecules 50, 6396−6403 (2017).

  • X. Monnier, L. Chevalier, A. Esposito, L. Fernandez-Ballester, A. Saiter, E. Dargent, “Local and segmental motions of the mobile amorphous fraction in semi-crystalline polylactide crystallized under quiescent and flow-induced conditions,” Polymer 126, 141-151 (2017).

  • L. Balzano, Z. Ma, D. Cavallo, T.B. van Erp, L. Fernandez-Ballester, and G.W.M. Peters, “Molecular Aspects of the Formation of Shish-Kebab in Isotactic Polypropylene,” Macromolecules 49, 3799-3809 (2016).

  • 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 46, 2671-2680 (2013).

  • 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 45, 6557-6570 (2012).

  • 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 45, 035301 (2012).

  • 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 115, 10351-10356 (2011).

  • 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 14, 012005 (2010).

  • L. Fernandez-Ballester, D.W. Thurman, and J.A. Kornfield, “Real-time depth sectioning method:  isolating the effect of stress on structure development in pressure-driven flow,” Journal of Rheology 53, 1229-1224 (2009).

  • 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 41, 1693-1704 (2008).

  • 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 15, 185-190 (2008).

  • 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 36,  6472-6483 (2003).

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