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Proceedings Paper

Concepts for smart nanocomposite materials
Author(s): SriLaxmi Pammi; Courtney Brown; Saurabh Datta; Goutham R. Kirikera; Mark J. Schulz
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Paper Abstract

This paper explores concepts for new smart materials that have extraordinary properties based on nanotechnology. Carbon and boron nitride nanotubes in theory can be used to manufacture fibers that have piezoelectric, pyroelectric, piezoresistive, and electrochemical field properties. Smart nanocomposites designed using these fibers will sense and respond to elastic, thermal, and chemical fields in a positive human-like way to improve the performance of structures, devices, and possibly humans. Remarkable strength, morphing, cooling, energy harvesting, strain and temperature sensing, chemical sensing and filtering, and high natural frequencies and damping will be the properties of these new materials. Synthesis of these unique atomically precise nanotubes, fibers, and nanocomposites is at present challenging and expensive, however, there is the possibility that we can synthesize the strongest and lightest actuators and most efficient sensors man has ever made. A particular advantage of nanotube transducers is their very high load bearing capability. Carbon nanotube electrochemical actuators have a predicted energy density at low frequencies that is thirty times greater than typical piezoceramic materials while boron nitride nanotubes are insulators and can operate at high temperatures, but they have a predicted piezoelectric induced stress constant that is about twenty times smaller than piezoceramic materials. Carbon nanotube fibers and composites exhibit a change in electrical conductivity due to strain that can be used for sensing. Some concepts for nanocomposite material sensors are presented and initial efforts to fabricate carbon nanocomposite load sensors are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 October 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5062, Smart Materials, Structures, and Systems, (14 October 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.514662
Show Author Affiliations
SriLaxmi Pammi, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)
Courtney Brown, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)
Saurabh Datta, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)
Goutham R. Kirikera, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)
Mark J. Schulz, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5062:
Smart Materials, Structures, and Systems
S. Mohan; B. Dattaguru; S. Gopalakrishnan, Editor(s)

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