43. engineering scalable multifunctional and stimuli-responsive nanocomposites

Department: Structural Engineering
Research Institute Affiliation: Agile Center for Extreme Events Research (CEER)
Faculty Advisor(s): Kenneth J. Loh

Primary Student
Email: bml001@ucsd.edu
Phone: 530-400-4675
Grad Year: 2018

Student Collaborators
Long Wang, longwang@eng.ucsd.edu | Sumit Gupta, sggupta@eng.ucsd.edu

Nanomaterial-based thin films, particularly those based on carbon nanotubes (CNT), have brought forth tremendous opportunities for designing next-generation strain sensors. However, their strain sensing properties can vary depending on fabrication method, post-processing treatment, and types of CNTs and polymers employed. The objective of this study was to derive a CNT-based thin film strain sensor model using inputs from nano-/micro-scale experimental measurements of nanotube physical properties. This study began with fabricating ultra-low-concentration CNT-polymer thin films, followed by imaging them using atomic force microscopy. Image processing was employed for characterizing CNT dispersed shapes, lengths, and other physical attributes, and results were used for building five different types of thin film percolation-based models. Numerical simulations were conducted to assess how the morphology of dispersed CNTs in its 2D matrix affected bulk film electrical and electromechanical (strain sensing) properties. The simulation results showed that CNT morphology had a significant impact on strain sensing performance.

Industry Application Area(s)
Aerospace, Defense, Security | Civil/Structural Engineering | Materials

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