435 Polyvinylidene Difluoride Sensors and Composites

Friday, November 6, 2009: 10:40 AM
Pancho Villa (Camino Real Hotel)
Michael P. Eastman, Ph.D. , Chemistry, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Guillermo Carbajal-Franco , Chemistry, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
David Chavez , Chemistry, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Timothy L. Porter, Ph.D. , Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
Polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) is a structurally diverse polymer. Films of the beta form of the polymer, when stretched and poled, yield piezoelectric and pyroelectric films useful in the construction of a variety of  transducers. Applications include robotic tactile sensing systems for minimally invasive robotic surgery.  We have developed a range of interesting applications of PVDF sensors for educational use and cost effective scientific studies.   Peizelectric PVDF-clay composites are likely to be suitable for sensor use over a wider range of temperatures than pure PVDF. We synthesized  PVDF-clay composites using the synthetic clay laponite, looked at the piezoelectric properties of the composite and studied composite structure by scanning force microscopy. Composites prepared to this point appear to show considerable  PVDF-clay phase separation and only weak piezoelectric behavior.