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Nanocomposites for Microsensors

#G-1490


Synthesis and Comprehensive Analysis of Novel Polymer Nanocomposites for Microsensors

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials
  • INF-SIG/Sensors and Signal Processing/Information and Communications
  • MAT-COM/Composites/Materials
  • PHY-SSP/Solid State Physics/Physics

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
18.12.2006

Leading Institute
Georgian Technical University, Georgia, Tbilisi

Supporting institutes

  • Kurchatov Research Center, Russia, Moscow\nInstitute of Synthetic Polymer Materilals, Russia, Moscow\nThe Russian-Armenian State University, Armenia, Yerevan

Collaborators

  • Virginia Commonwealth University, USA, VA, Richmond\nUniversità di Ferrara / Dipartamento di Fisica, Italy, Ferrara\nUniversity of Toronto / Centre for Nanotechnology, Canada, ON, Toronto\nNational Technical University of Athens, Greece, Athens\nMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) / Nanostructures Laboratory, USA, MA, Cambridge

Project summary

Nanocomposites are a class of composites in which particles of the embedded phase have sizes about of several nanometers. Metal-polymer nanocomposites represent a radical alternative to conventional filled polymers. This is attributed not with the economical consideration only, because the new nanoscaled materials have exhibited the markedly improved properties (as compared to their macrocomposite counterparts) and these enhancements have been achieved at low clay particles loadings, in the range from 1 to 20 wt.%. Properties, which are never observed in macroscopic composites but exit in nanocomposites, include the electronic conductivity ranging from the single-electron hopping and to the percolation conductivity and strong enhancement of the catalytic activity due to extremely large surface area of nanogranules.

The objective of the project addresses to the opportunity that not utilised till now: abrupt and huge (“giant”) changes of the nanocomposite properties under deformation. This becomes possible for new nanocomposites materials representing ultra-fine well dispersed nanoparticles of metal or other conductor in binding material (matrix) such as a non-conducting elastomer (elastoplastics with a rare "net" of links between the polymeric chains). Calculations show that the conductance of such material should vary strongly (up to 1-3 orders of magnitude) at different strains (squeezing, torsions or tensions). The resistance of such composite depends very much on external parameters (magnetic field, temperature, the composition of atmosphere, etc.). In particular, the giant change of conductivity is the direct consequence of the exponentially strong dependence of the intergranular electron tunnelling probability in the hopping mode of conductance. This feature makes the metal-polymer nanocomposites very attractive for practical applications.

Other interesting designing possibility is synthesis and research of elastic polymer nanocomposites with the high content of magnetic nanoparticles. These new elastic composite materials (magnetoelastics) will be produced by the disposing lots of magnetic nanoparticles in polymer matrix. In result, for the first time appears intriguing possibility to obtain microsensors with the giant tenzoresistivity and giant magnetostriction simultaneously. It is proposed to realize within the framework of the project the new approach for studying polymer nanocomposites. It is based on the possibility to change of the degree of the magnetic and structural disordering, and requires complex investigations of structural, electrical, magnetic, magnetoelastic and magnetotransport properties of these materials.

Technological part of the project will be implemented mainly by scientists and engineers from the RRC KI, ISPM and GTU. The main part of investigations of physical properties of materials within the framework of the project is proposed to conduct at the RRC KI, ISPM and RAU.

The suggested comprehensive approach which includes technological and broad-band fundamental researches as well, will allow achieving the purposes of the project in rather brief period: 36 months. Thus, scientists and engineers of the Russian Research Center "Kurchatov institute", Georgian Technical University, Russian-Armenian University connected with the development of weapon production, will work in the close contact with civil scientists and, in outcome and, as a result, they will be redirected on solutions of problems having the extremely peaceful scientific and practical value.

The project contributors from the RRC KI and ISPM have considerable experience of the synthesis of multilayer structures, low-dimensional materials and nanocomposites with rigid and elastic matrixes, experimental and theoretical research of their physical properties. For instance, the idea to create new easily deformable materials with the tunnel conductivity is developed at RRC KI and ISPM. About 20 articles in leading foreign and domestic physical magazines have been published on basis of these researches; the corresponding reports have been regularly presented at international and Russian conferences. The intensive collaboration between the participating institutes is the obligatory background to achieve the desired results within the project duration.


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