Assoc. Prof. Richard T. Olsson

Polymer Nanocomposite Materials in Emerging Applications

Richard T. Olsson

Dr. Olsson earned his PhD in 2007 at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) on the topic of microwave absorbing nanocomposites developed for the Swedish Research Defence Agency. Previous to the doctoral studies he had developed an interest in polymeric materials when working with optical fibre coatings at École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier in France (-2000) and at Bell Labs, USA (2000–2001). Olsson's doctoral studies on magnetic nanoparticles dispersions in thermoset polymers (2002-2007), were followed by works devising a system for fabrication of nanofibre reinforced silicone materials for Mölnlycke Health Care AB (2007-2008). These nanocomposites were developed at the Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Postdoctoral studies were carried out 2008-2010 at Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IATA), Spain, with focus on renewable nanomaterials within bioplastics for food packaging. In 2010 he returned to the KTH to pursue in depth development of nanocomposite polymer engineering processing at the Dept. of Fibre and Polymer Technology.

Dr. Olsson is currently supervising 5 PhD students in the division of Prof. Mikael S. Hedenqvist. The main research focus is directed towards novel nanocomposites materials and the interfaces between inorganic nanoparticles and polymers (inorganic and organic). A strong focus is directed towards the realization of nanocomposite materials into functional prototypes and Olsson has 8 worldwide patents in the above related field.

Projects and Interests

Main focus: Polymer nanocomposite fabrication (thermoplastics, thermoset and biobased) with rapid turnover polymer formulation investigations, surface adaption of nanoparticles to polymer interfaces, in-situ formation of nanoparticles, extrusion and electrospinning for anisotropic/isotropic composite fabrication. 

Additonal expertise: Inorganic metal oxide crystal synthesis, aqueous nanoparticles preparation, cellulose crystal extractions, (±) nanoparticle coating stabilization by covalent/adsorption assemblies, and miniature reaction technologies are topics of interest. 

Direction: Dielectrics, magnetics, ultrathin fiber systems (electrospinning), thincoatings and porositiy preparation strategies, for use in applied reseach materials investigations.


  • KF2505  Polymer Materials Processing; 7.5 credits – Lecturer, Course responsible and Examiner
  • KFxxxx  FPIRC Course no 35: Non Woven - From fundamentals to processing – Lecturer
  • KF3260  Characterization Methods for Fibre and Polymer Science; 7.5 credits – Lecturer
  • KF2500  Polymer Engineering; 9.0 credits – Lecturer, Course responsible and Examiner
  • KF1070  Perspectives on Materials Design; 10.5 credits – Lecturer, Course responsible and Examiner
  • KA101X  Degree Project in Chemical Science and Engineering; 15.0 credits – Project responsible and Examiner
  • KF102X  Degree Project in Polymeric Materials, First Cycle; 15.0 credits – Project responsible and Examiner
  • KF206X  Degree Project in Polymeric Materials, Second Cycle; 30.0 credits – Project responsible and Examiner

Professional Engagements


  • Lars-Erik Thunholms stiftelse: – "Young Investigators stipend", 2013.
  • Knut och Alice Wallenbergs: "Mikro/Nanovetenskap stipend ", 2008.
  • Carl Klason Prize, POLYCHAR-14, Annual World Forum on Advanced Materials, 2006.



Improved cellulose nanofibril dispersion in melt-processed polycaprolactone nanocomposites by a latex-mediated interphase and wet feeding as LDPE alternative  – ACS Applied Nano Materials; 162, 669-2677.

Synthesis of Zinc Oxide Nanorods via the Formation of Sea Urchin Structures and Their Photoluminescence after Heat Treatment  – Langmuir; 34, 5079–5087.

Enzymatic Hydrolysis in the Green Production of Bacterial Cellulose Nanocrystals  – ACS Sustainable Chem;66, 7725-7734.

A facile way of making inexpensive rigid and soft protein biofoams with rapid liquid absorption  – Industrial Crops and Products; 119, 41-48.

Superamphiphobic coatings based on liquid-core microcapsules with engineered capsule walls and functionality  – Scientific Reports; 8, 3647.

Mechanical behavior of biopolymer composite coatings on plastic films by depth-sensing indentation – A nanoscale study  – Journal of Colloid and Interface Science; 512, 638-646.

The Role of Interfaces in Polyethylene/Metal‐Oxide Nanocomposites for Ultrahigh‐Voltage Insulating Materials  – Advanced Materials; 30, 1703624.


Catalytic Reductions and Tandem Reactions of Nitro Compounds Using in Situ Prepared Nickel Boride Catalyst in Nanocellulose Solution  – Organic Letters; 19, 4746-4749.

Influence of water uptake on the electrical DC-conductivity of insulating LDPE/MgO nanocomposites  – Composites Science and Technology; 152, 11-19.

Experimental review: chemical reduction of graphene oxide (GO) to reduced graphene oxide (rGO) by aqueous chemistry  – Nanoscale; 9, 9562 - 9571.

Conductive biofoams of wheat gluten containing carbon nanotubes, carbon black or reduced graphene oxide  – RSC Adv.; 7, 18260-18269.

Influence of nanoparticle surface coating on electrical conductivity of LDPE/Al2O3 nanocomposites for HVDC cable insulations  – IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation; 24, 1396-1404.

Assessing the thermoformability of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) / poly(acid lactic) blends compatibilized with diisocyanates  – Polymer Testing; 62: 235-245.

Three-Dimensional Nanometer Features of Direct Current Electrical Trees in Low-Density Polyethylene  – Nano Lett.; 17, 1402-1408.

Drying and Pyrolysis of Cellulose Nanofibers from Wood, Bacteria, and Algae for Char Application in Oil Absorption and Dye Adsorption  – ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng.; 5, 2679-2692.

Freeze-dried wheat gluten biofoams; scaling up with water welding  – Industrial Crops and Products; 97, 184-190.

Lidocaine-loaded fish scale-nanocellulose biopolymer composite microneedles  – AAPS PharmSciTech; 18, 1488-1494.

Cavitation in strained polyethylene/aluminium oxide nanocomposites  – European Polymer Journal; 87, 255-265.

Flexible strength-improved and crack-resistant biocomposites based on plasticised wheat gluten reinforced with a flax-fibre-weave  – Composites Part A; Applied Science and Manufacturing; 94, 61-69.

The impact of zinc oxide particle morphology as an antimicrobial and when incorporated in Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) films for food packaging and food contact surfaces applications  – Food and Bioproducts processing; 101, 32-44.


Aqueous Synthesis of (21̅0) Oxygen-Terminated Defect-Free Hierarchical ZnO Particles and Their Heat Treatment for Enhanced Reactivity – Langmuir; 32, 11002–11013.

Highly Efficient Interfaces in Nanocomposites Based on Polyethylene and ZnO Nano/Hierarchical Particles: A Novel Approach toward Ultralow Electrical Conductivity Insulations  – Advanced Materials; 28, 8651-8657.

Polyethylene Nanocomposites for the Next Generation of Ultralow-Transmission-Loss HVDC Cables: Insulation Containing Moisture-Resistant MgO Nanoparticles  – ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces; 8, 14824–14835.

VOC-Induced Flexing of Single and Multilayer Polyethylene Films As Gas Sensors  – ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces; 8, 9946–9953.

The impact of MgO nanoparticle interface in ultra insulating polyethylene nanocomposites for high voltage DC cables  – Journal of Materials Chemistry A; Article ASAP, DOI:  10.1039/C6TA02041K

Highly absorbing antimicrobial bio-foams based on wheat-gluten and its bio-hybrids  – ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng.; 4, 2395–2404.

Superparamagnetic [sic] nanofibers by electrospinning  – RSC Advances; 6, 21413-21422.

Microfibrillated cellulose and borax as mechanical, O2-barrier, and surface-modulating agents of pullulan biocomposite coatings on BOPP  – Carbohydrate Polymers; 143, 179-187.

Interactions between a phenolic antioxidant, moisture, peroxide and crosslinking by-products with metal oxide nanoparticles in branched polyethylene  – Polymer Degradation and Stability; 125, 21-32.


A novel chitosan/wheat gluten biofoam fabricated by spontaneous mixing and vacuum-drying  – RSC Advances; 5, 94191-94200.

Microneedles from Fishscale-Nanocellulose Blends Using Low Temperature Mechanical Press Method  – Pharmaceutics; 7, 363-378.

Heat treatment of ZnO nanoparticles: new methods to achieve high-purity nanoparticles for high-voltage applications  – Journal of Materials Chemistry A; 3, 17190-17200.

Unusual effects of monocarboxylic acids on the structure and on the transport and mechanical properties of chitosan films  – Carbohydrate Polymers; 132, 419-429.

Cellulose nanofibril core-shell silica coatings and their conversion into thermally stable nanotube aerogels  – Journal of Materials Chemistry A; 3, 15745-15754.

Morphology and properties of silica-based coatings with different functionalities for Fe3O4, ZnO and Al2O3 nanoparticles  – RSC Advances; 5, 48094-48103.

Exceptional oxygen barrier performance of pullulan nanocomposites with ultra-low loading of graphene oxide  – Nanotechnology, 26, 275703.

Formation and structure of freeze–dried MgO nanoparticle foams and their behaviour in polyetylene  – Journal of Materials Chemistry A; 3, 7523–7534.

Influence of nanoparticle surface treatment on particle dispersion and interfacial adhesion in low-density polyethylene/aluminium oxide nanocomposites  – European Polymer Journal; 66, 67-77.

Electrospinning of recycled PET to generate tough mesomorphic fibre membranes for smoke filtration  – Journal of Materials Chemistry A; 3, 1632-1640.


Highly porous flame-retardant and sustainable biofoams based on wheat gluten and in-situ polymerized silica  – Journal of Materials Chemistry A; 2, 20996-21009.

Strong and moldable cellulose magnets with high ferrite nanoparticle content – ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces; 6 (22), 20524–20534.

Micromechanics of ultra-toughened electrospun PMMA/PEO fibres as revealed by in-situ tensile testing in an electron microscope – Scientific Reports; 4 (6335), 1-8.

Antibacterial Properties of Tough and Strong Electrospun PMMA/PEO Fiber Mats Filled with Lanasol—A Naturally Occurring Brominated Substance  – International Journal of Molecular Sciences; 15 (9), 15912-15923.

Water–based synthesis and cleaning methods for high purity ZnO nanoparticles – comparing acetate, chloride, sulphate and nitrate zinc salt precursors  – RSC Advances; 4 (67), 35568-35577.

Controlled Deposition of magnetic particles within the 3-D template of wood: Making use of the natural hierarchical structure of wood  – RSC Advances; 49 (8), 2073-2081.

Comparison of the Properties of Cellulose Nanocrystals and Cellulose Nanofibrils Isolated from Bacteria, Tunicate, and Wood Processed Using Acid, Enzymatic, Mechanical, and Oxidative Methods – ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces; 6 (9), 6127-6138.


Cellulose nanofibers decorated with magnetic nanoparticles–synthesis, structure and use in magnetized high toughness membranes for a prototype loudspeaker  – Journal of Materials Chemistry C; 1 (47), 7963-7972.

Confined space crystallisation of poly(ɛ-caprolactone) in controlled pore glasses  – European Polymer Journal; 49 (8), 2073-2081.


Micromechanical Tensile Testing of Cellulose-Reinforced Electrospun Fibers Using a Template Transfer Method (TTM)  – Journal of Polymers and the Environment; 20 (4), 967-975.

Particle size and magnetic properties dependence on growth temperature for rapid mixed co-precipitated magnetite nanoparticles  – Nanotechnology; 23 (14), 145601-145601-9.

Development of bacterial cellulose nanowhiskers reinforced EVOH composites by electrospinning  – Journal of Applied Polymer Science; 124 (2), 1398-1408.


Rapid mixing: A route to synthesize magnetite nanoparticles with high moment  – Applied Physics Letters; 99 (22), 222501-222501-3.

Core‐shell structured ferrite‐silsesquioxane‐epoxy nanocomposites: Composite homogeneity and mechanical and magnetic properties  – Polymer Engineering & Science; 51 (5), 862-874.

Development of electrospun EVOH fibres reinforced with bacterial cellulose nanowhiskers. Part I: Characterization and method optimization  – Cellulose; 18 (2), 335-347.


Making flexible magnetic aerogels and stiff magnetic nanopaper using cellulose nanofibrils as templates  – Nature Nanotechnology; 5 (8), 584-588.

Extraction of microfibrils from bacterial cellulose networks for electrospinning of anisotropic biohybrid fiber yarns  – Macromolecules; 43 (9), 4201-4209.

Real-time monitoring of the evolution of magnetism during precipitation of superparamagnetic nanoparticles for bioscience applications  – Journal of Materials Chemistry; 20 (20), 4168-4175.

Organic–inorganic hybrid copolymer fibers and their use in silicone laminate composites  – Polymer Engineering & Science; 50 (11), 2143-2152.

Novel Foams Based on Freeze‐Dried Renewable Vital Wheat Gluten  – Macromolecular Materials and Engineering; 295 (9), 796-801.

Prior 2010


Book Chapters

Cellulose nanofillers for food packaging. In: Lagarón, J. M. Multifunctional and nanoreinforced polymers for food packaging . Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Limited. pp. 86-107 (2011).

Additional information

  • ResearcherID: B-8715-2012
  • ORCID iD:
Page responsible:Ali Moyassari Sardehaei
Belongs to: Department of Fibre and Polymer Technology
Last changed: Oct 10, 2019