Faculty - Fernandez-Ballester

Lucia Fernandez-Ballester, Research Assistant Professor

Lucia Fernandez-Ballester

Lucia Fernandez-Ballester
Research Assistant Professor

Mechanical & Materials Engineering
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
W335 Nebraska Hall
Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0526
Office: 402-472-3994

Research Interests

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.

Some specific areas of interest are:

  • Processing and flow-induced crystallization of polymers
  • Conjugated polymers
  • Hierarchical structures and self-assembly
  • Biopolymers

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).


  • 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/
  • 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, 2009.  53(5), 1229-1224. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/engineeringmechanicsfacpub/67/
  • 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