Enhanced piezoelectric performance from carbon fluoropolymer nanocomposites
DiMaio, Jeffrey R.
Smith, Dennis W., Jr.
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The piezoelectric performance of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) is shown to double through the controlled incorporation of carbon nanomaterial. Specifically, PVDF composites containing carbon fullerenes (C-60) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) are fabricated over a range of compositions and optimized for their Young's modulus, dielectric constant, and d(31) piezoelectric coefficient. Thermally stimulated current measurements show a large increase in internal charge and polarization in the composites over pure PVDF. The electromechanical coupling coefficients (k(31)) at optimal loading levels are found to be 1.84 and 2 times greater than pure PVDF for the PVDF-C-60 and PVDF-SWNT composites, respectively. Such property-enhanced nanocomposites could have significant benefit to electromechanical systems employed for structural sensing, energy scavenging, sonar, and biomedical imaging. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4768923]