Faculty - Fernandez-Ballester

Lucia Fernandez-Ballester, Assistant Professor

Lucia Fernandez-Ballester

Lucia Fernandez-Ballester
Assistant Professor

Mechanical & Materials Engineering
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
W332 Nebraska Hall
Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0526
Office: 402-472-3994

Research Interests

My goal is to address growing technological needs by understanding and controlling the fundamental mechanism of crystallization of polymers during processing. The specific morphology that forms during manufacturing dictates final material properties, so it is crucial to attain control over the type of structure that develops during processing. In my group, we explore the complex interplay between molecular structure, processing conditions, structure development and resulting properties of polymers to enable rational design of material and processes for a particular application. The range of current and potential applications for semicrystalline polymers is extremely diverse, including biomedical devices and implants, solar cells, transistors, film packaging, high-pressure gas piping, high-performance fibers, and structural components, among others.

Areas of interest:

  • Conjugated polymers
  • 3D printing
  • Flow-induced crystallization
  • Nucleation control
  • Biopolymers


  • 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). https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.iecr.8b00708
  • 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). http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.7b01228
  • 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). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymer.2017.08.021
  • 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). http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.6b00428
  • 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). 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 45, 6557-6570 (2012). 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 45, 035301 (2012). http://iopscience.iop.org/0022-3727/45/3/035301/
  • 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). 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 14, 012005 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/14/1/012005
  • 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). http://dx.doi.org/10.1122/1.3164970
  • 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). 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 Radiation15, 185-190 (2008). http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/S0909049508002598
  • 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). http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ma025774