|About this Abstract
||Materials Science & Technology 2011
||Next Generation Biomaterials
||Electrochemically Controlled Switching Properties in Bioinspired Polymer Nanocomposites
||Aysegul Aygun, Larry D. Stephenson, Tom Mahle, Andrew Gewirth
|On-Site Speaker (Planned)
The overarching goal of this research is to investigate the switching capabilities of nanocomposites based on the response of sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa dermis to external stimuli. Currently, polymer nanocomposites exhibit reversible mechanical properties, such as stiffness, in response to chemical stimuli. However, the switching rate is orders of magnitude slower than observed in nature. This work explores mechanisms by which polymer nanocomposites may alter their mechanical properties with a fast switching rate in response to electrical stimuli. The electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance (EQCM) technique was used to study simultaneous mass and modulus changes that occur during oxidation and reduction processes in nanocomposite polymers. The microstructures of nanocomposites were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Tensile tests were conducted to determine mechanical properties of nanocomposites. Additionally, electrochemical methods, scanning probe microscopy (STM and AFM), and spectroscopic ellipsometry were performed to characterize the materials synthesized and their response to electrochemical stimuli.