Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Smart Materials Related Abstracts

4 Polyvinylidene Fluoride-Polyaniline Films for Improved Dielectric Properties

Authors: Anjana Jain, S. Jayanth Kumar


Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) is a well-known material for remarkable mechanical properties, resistance to chemicals and superior ferroelectric performances. This endows PVDF the potential for application in supercapacitor devices. The dielectric properties of PVDF, however, are not very high. To improve the dielectric properties of Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), Piezoelectric polymer nanocomposites are prepared without affecting the other useful properties of PVDF. Polyaniline (PANI) was chosen as a filler material to prepare the nanocomposites. PVDF-PANI nanocomposite films were prepared using solvent cast method with different volume fractions of PANI varying from 0.04% to 0.048% of PANI content. The films are characterized for structural, mechanical, and surface morphological properties using X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimeter, Raman spectra, Infrared spectra, tensile testing, and scanning electron microscopy. The X-ray diffraction analysis shows that, prepared films were in β-phase. The DSC scans indicated that the degree of crystallinity in PVDF-PANI is improved. Raman and Infrared spectrum further confirm the presence of β-phase of PVDF-PANI film. Tensile properties of PVDF-PANI films were in good agreement with those reported in literature. The surface feature shows that PANI is uniformly distributed in PVDF and also results in disappearance of spherulites. The influence of volume fraction of PANI in PVDF on dielectric properties was analyzed. The results showed that the dielectric permittivity of PVDF-PANI (120) was much higher than that of PVDF (12). The sensitivity of these films was studied on application of a pressure and a constant output voltage was obtained.

Keywords: Smart Materials, PVDF, PANI, dielectric properties

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3 Synthesis of Smart Materials Based on Polyaniline Coated Fibers

Authors: Mihaela Beregoi, Horia Iovu, Cristina Busuioc, Alexandru Evanghelidis, Elena Matei, Monica Enculescu, Ionut Enculescu


Nanomaterials field is very attractive for all researchers who are attempting to develop new devices with the same or improved properties than the micro-sized ones, while reducing the reagents and power consumptions. In this way, a wide range of nanomaterials were fabricated and integrated in applications for electronics, optoelectronics, solar cells, tissue reconstruction and drug delivery. Obviously, the most appealing ones are those dedicated to the medical domain. Different types of nano-sized materials, such as particles, fibers, films etc., can be synthesized by using physical, chemical or electrochemical methods. One of these techniques is electrospinning, which enable the production of fibers with nanometric dimensions by pumping a polymeric solution in a high electric field; due to the electrostatic charging and solvent evaporation, the precursor mixture is converted into nonwoven meshes with different fiber densities and mechanical properties. Moreover, polyaniline is a conducting polymer with interesting optical properties, suitable for displays and electrochromic windows. Otherwise, polyaniline is an electroactive polymer that can contract/expand by applying electric stimuli, due to the oxidation/reduction reactions which take place in the polymer chains. These two main properties can be exploited in order to synthesize smart materials that change their dimensions, exhibiting in the same time good electrochromic properties. In the context aforesaid, a poly(methyl metacrylate) solution was spun to get webs composed of fibers with diameter values between 500 nm and 1 µm. Further, the polymer meshes were covered with a gold layer in order to make them conductive and also appropriate as working electrode in an electrochemical cell. The gold shell was deposited by DC sputtering. Such metalized fibers can be transformed into smart materials by covering them with a thin layer of conductive polymer. Thus, the webs were coated with a polyaniline film by the electrochemical route, starting from and aqueous solution of aniline and sulfuric acid, where sulfuric acid acts as oxidant agent. For the polymerization of aniline, a saturated calomel electrode was employed as reference, a platinum plate as counter electrode and the gold covered webs as working electrode. Chronoamperometry was selected as deposition method for polyaniline, by modifying the deposition time. Metalized meshes with different fiber densities were used, the transmission ranging between 70 and 80 %. The morphological investigation showed that polyaniline layer has a granular structure for all deposition experiments. As well, some preliminary optical tests were done by using sulfuric acid as electrolyte, which revealed the modification of polyaniline colour from green to dark blue when applying a voltage. In conclusion, new multilayered materials were obtained by a simple approach: the merge of the electrospinning method benefits with polyaniline chemistry. This synthesis method allows the fabrication of structures with reproducible characteristics, suitable for display or tissue substituents.

Keywords: Smart Materials, Electrospinning, fibers, polyaniline

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2 Upon Poly(2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate-Co-3, 9-Divinyl-2, 4, 8, 10-Tetraoxaspiro (5.5) Undecane) as Polymer Matrix Ensuring Intramolecular Strategies for Further Coupling Applications

Authors: Loredana E. Nita, Aurica P. Chiriac, Elena Stoleru, Alina Diaconu, Vera Balan, Mihai Asandulesa, Elena Butnaru, Nita Tudorachi, Iordana Neamtu, Liliana Mititelu-Tartau


The interest for studying ‘smart’ materials is entirely justified and in this context were realized investigations on poly(2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate-co-3, 9-divinyl-2, 4, 8, 10-tetraoxaspiro (5.5) undecane), which is a macromolecular compound with sensibility at pH and temperature, gel formation capacity, binding properties, amphilicity, good oxidative and thermal stability. Physico-chemical characteristics in terms of the molecular weight, temperature-sensitive abilities and thermal stability, as well rheological, dielectric and spectroscopic properties were evaluated in correlation with further coupling capabilities. Differential scanning calorimetry investigation indicated Tg at 36.6 °C and a melting point at Tm=72.8°C, for the studied copolymer, and up to 200oC two exothermic processes (at 99.7°C and 148.8°C) were registered with losing weight of about 4 %, respective 19.27%, which indicate just processes of thermal decomposition (and not phenomena of thermal transition) owing to scission of the functional groups and breakage of the macromolecular chains. At the same time, the rheological studies (rotational tests) confirmed the non-Newtonian shear-thinning fluid behavior of the copolymer solution. The dielectric properties of the copolymer have been evaluated in order to investigate the relaxation processes and two relaxation processes under Tg value were registered and attributed to localized motions of polar groups from side chain macromolecules, or parts of them, without disturbing the main chains. According to literature and confirmed as well by our investigations, β-relaxation is assigned with the rotation of the ester side group and the γ-relaxation corresponds to the rotation of hydroxy- methyl side groups. The fluorescence spectroscopy confirmed the copolymer structure, the spiroacetal moiety getting an axial conformation, more stable, with lower energy, able for specific interactions with molecules from environment, phenomena underlined by different shapes of the emission spectra of the copolymer. Also, the copolymer was used as template for indomethacin incorporation as model drug, and the biocompatible character of the complex was confirmed. The release behavior of the bioactive compound was dependent by the copolymer matrix composition, the increasing of 3, 9-divinyl-2, 4, 8, 10-tetraoxaspiro (5.5) undecane comonomer amount attenuating the drug release. At the same time, the in vivo studies did not show significant differences of leucocyte formula elements, GOT, GPT and LDH levels, nor immune parameters (OC, PC, and BC) between control mice group and groups treated just with copolymer samples, with or without drug, data attesting the biocompatibility of the polymer samples. The investigation of the physico-chemical characteristics of poly(2-hydrxyethyl methacrylate-co-3, 9-divinyl-2, 4, 8, 10-tetraoxaspiro (5.5) undecane) in terms of temperature-sensitive abilities, rheological and dielectrical properties, are bringing useful information for further specific use of this polymeric compound.

Keywords: Smart Materials, bioapplications, dielectric and spectroscopic properties, dual sensitivity at pH and temperature

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1 Liquid Crystal Elastomers as Light-Driven Star-Shaped Microgripper

Authors: Indraj Singh, Xuan Lee, Yu-Chieh Cheng


Scientists are very keen on biomimetic research that mimics biological species to micro-robotic devices with the novel functionalities and accessibility. The source of inspiration is the complexity, sophistication, and intelligence of the biological systems. In this work, we design a light-driven star-shaped microgripper, an autonomous soft device which can change the shape under the external stimulus such as light. The design is based on light-responsive Liquid Crystal Elastomers which fabricated onto the polymer coated aligned substrate. The change in shape, controlled by the anisotropicity and the molecular orientation of the Liquid Crystal Elastomer, based on the external stimulus. This artificial star-shaped microgripper is capable of autonomous closure and capable to grab the objects in response to an external stimulus. This external stimulus-responsive materials design, based on soft active smart materials, provides a new approach to autonomous, self-regulating optical systems.

Keywords: Robotics, Smart Materials, microgripper, liquid crystal elastomers

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