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Proceedings Paper

Enhancing the piezoelectric performance of PVDF-TrFE thin films using zinc oxide nanoparticles
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Paper Abstract

Structural health monitoring (SHM) is crucial for detecting sudden and progressive damage and for preventing catastrophic structural failure. Piezoelectric materials have been widely adopted for their use as sensors and as actuators. Piezoceramics (such as lead zirconate titanate) offer high piezoelectricity but are mechanically brittle. Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) piezopolymers are conformable to complex structural surfaces but exhibit lower piezoelectricity. So as to achieve a combination of these desirable properties, piezoelectric zinc oxide (ZnO) nanomaterials are proposed for embedment in flexible polymer matrices during fabrication to yield high-performance piezoelectric nanocomposites. The main objective of this research is to characterize the piezoelectricity of nanocomposites formed by embedding ZnO nanoparticles in a PVDF-trifluoroethylene (TrFE) matrix. Film fabrication is performed by dispersing ZnO into a PVDFTrFE solution and then by spin coating the solution onto a rigid substrate. A high electric field is applied to each of the films for poling, and the films' remnant polarization is quantified by measuring their ferroelectric response using a Sawyer-Tower circuit. Graphs of electric field compared to electric displacement can be obtained for determining the films' piezoelectricity. Finally, validation of their sensing performance is achieved by hammer impact testing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 April 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8345, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2012, 834515 (3 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.915072
Show Author Affiliations
John S. Dodds, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Frederick N. Meyers, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Kenneth J. Loh, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8345:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2012
Masayoshi Tomizuka; Chung-Bang Yun; Jerome P. Lynch, Editor(s)

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