Ricardo K. Donato

Position: Assistant Professor

Area of interest: Composites

Email: ricardo.donato@mackenzie.br

Office: 418

Phone: +55 (11) 2766 7385

Ricardo Keitel Donato was born in 1981 in Cruz Alta, city at the northwest region of the southernmost state in Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul. He obtained a bachelor degree in Industrial Chemistry at Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM) in 2006; and a master degree (2008), a PhD (2012) and post-doctoral degree (2015) in Materials Chemistry at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). Furthermore, in 2009 he obtained a post-graduation degree in Macromolecular Chemistry at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry in Prague – Czech Republic, with UNESCO/IUPAC scholarship, where he returned in 2010 for a year split PhD research period. In 2014 he received a guest research fellowship from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) – England, and in 2015 he was also a guest research fellow at the National Research Council (CNR), Portici (NA) – Italy. Currently he is assistant professor at Mackenzie Presbyterian University and researcher at the Graphene and Nano-Material Research Center (MackGraphe).


Donato group is interested in the areas of macromolecular chemistry, interface chemistry, structure-properties relation of materials and polymer nanocomposites. His main focus is in polymer and inorganic systems which assemble to form task-specific nanostructures, in both solution and bulk, especially when presenting carbon allotropes as one of the phases.


Keywords: Interface chemistry, self-assembly, anisotropic agents, morphology drivers, structure-properties relation, polymer nanocomposites, graphene, carbon allotropes, graphene analogues, ionic liquids.


Polymer-graphene controlled nanocomposite synthesis for multifunctional materials applications

Polymer nanocomposites are materials where organic or inorganic fillers in the nanometric scale (a million times smaller than a milimeter) are spread into a polymer matrix (plastic, resins or polymer mixtures). Graphene is a bi-dymensional nanometric species (sheet like form) that can be extracted by exfoliating natural graphite (the same used for pencil production). Processes which the mineral graphite is exfoliated to graphene sheets directly into polymer materials precursors, make possible troubleshooting technical problems related to graphene dispersion control for the nanocomposite formation using surfactants. Thus, this laboratory is interested to find graphene applications in several nanocomposite formation processes, where surface agents are used to help the graphite exfoliation, and control the final structure and properties of these nanocomposites (Fig. 1a). The graphene interactions with several agents are investigated, seeking to expand these applications to other nanomaterials as carbon allotropes (e.g. carbon nanotubes, fullerene and nanodiamonds) or graphene analogs (e.g. black phosphorous and transition metal dichalcogenides). This allows preparing nanocomposites in a controlled and task-specific manner, developing materials with advanced properties (i.e. selective gas barrier properties, lightness and mechanical toughness, flexibility, conductivity, etc.).  


This laboratory is part of the “composites” concentration area of MackGraphe, but also seeks to understand the nanocomposites’ interfacial chemistry and provide materials applicable to the photonics and energy areas. Several solutions for diverse technological areas are studied, where the main ones are: (i) conductive and flexible materials for electronics; (ii) smart materials for packaging, textiles and membranes; (iii) light and tough engineering materials (Fig. 1b).


Ongoing Projects:

1) Multifunctional Graphene-based Nanocomposites with Robust Electromagnetic and Thermal Properties for 3D-printing Application (Graphene 3D)

More informations: graphene3d.imbm.bas.bg

Associated grants: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) - Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) - H2020-MSCA-RISE-2016. Project ID: 734164

Involved partners: 

Institute of Mechanics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IMech-BAS), Búlgaria

- Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Inst. Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials (CNR), Itália.

- NAno caRbon RAdiatioN DOsimeter (Narrando), Itália

- Universite de Namur ASBL (UNamur), Bélgica

- Universita Degli Studi di Salerno (UniSa), Itália

- Research and Development of Nanomat. and Nanotechnol. (NanoTechLab), Bulgária

- Ilia Vekua Sokhumi Institute  of Physics and Technology (SIPT), Geórgia

- Institute for Nuclear Problems/Belarusian State University (INP-BSU), Bielorrússia

- Sichuan University (SU), China


2) Alternative large scale methods for 2D materials delamination


3) Polymer nanocomposites based on 2D fillers


4) Ionic liquids in materials surfaces and biointerfaces