Matching Items (5)

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Multifunctional Soft Materials: Design, Development and Applications

Description

Soft materials are matters that can easily deform from their original shapes and structures under thermal or mechanical stresses, and they range across various groups of materials including liquids, foams,

Soft materials are matters that can easily deform from their original shapes and structures under thermal or mechanical stresses, and they range across various groups of materials including liquids, foams, gels, colloids, polymers, and biological substances. Although soft materials already have numerous applications with each of their unique characteristics, integrating materials to achieve complementary functionalities is still a growing need for designing advanced applications of complex requirements. This dissertation explores a unique approach of utilizing intermolecular interactions to accomplish not only the multifunctionality from combined materials but also their tailored properties designed for specific tasks. In this work, multifunctional soft materials are explored in two particular directions, ionic liquids (ILs)-based mixtures and interpenetrating polymer network (IPN).

First, ILs-based mixtures were studied to develop liquid electrolytes for molecular electronic transducers (MET) in planetary exploration. For space missions, it is challenging to operate any liquid electrolytes in an extremely low-temperature environment. By tuning intermolecular interactions, the results demonstrated a facile method that has successfully overcome the thermal and transport barriers of ILs-based mixtures at extremely low temperatures. Incorporation of both aqueous and organic solvents in ILs-based electrolyte systems with varying types of intermolecular interactions are investigated, respectively, to yield optimized material properties supporting not only MET sensors but also other electrochemical devices with iodide/triiodide redox couple targeting low temperatures.

Second, an environmentally responsive hydrogel was synthesized via interpenetrating two crosslinked polymer networks. The intermolecular interactions facilitated by such an IPN structure enables not only an upper critical solution temperature (UCST) transition but also a mechanical enhancement of the hydrogel. The incorporation of functional units validates a positive swelling response to visible light and also further improves the mechanical properties. This studied IPN system can serve as a promising route in developing “smart” hydrogels utilizing visible light as a simple, inexpensive, and remotely controllable stimulus.

Over two directions across from ILs to polymeric networks, this work demonstrates an effective strategy of utilizing intermolecular interactions to not only develop multifunctional soft materials for advanced applications but also discover new properties beyond their original boundaries.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Molecular electronic transducer-based seismometer and accelerometer fabricated with micro-electro-mechanical systems techniques

Description

This thesis presents approaches to develop micro seismometers and accelerometers based on molecular electronic transducers (MET) technology using MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) techniques. MET is a technology applied in seismic instrumentation

This thesis presents approaches to develop micro seismometers and accelerometers based on molecular electronic transducers (MET) technology using MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) techniques. MET is a technology applied in seismic instrumentation that proves highly beneficial to planetary seismology. It consists of an electrochemical cell that senses the movement of liquid electrolyte between electrodes by converting it to the output current. MET seismometers have advantages of high sensitivity, low noise floor, small size, absence of fragile mechanical moving parts and independence on the direction of sensitivity axis. By using MEMS techniques, a micro MET seismometer is developed with inter-electrode spacing close to 1μm, which improves the sensitivity of fabricated device to above 3000 V/(m/s^2) under operating bias of 600 mV and input acceleration of 400 μG (G=9.81m/s^2) at 0.32 Hz. The lowered hydrodynamic resistance by increasing the number of channels improves the self-noise to -127 dB equivalent to 44 nG/√Hz at 1 Hz. An alternative approach to build the sensing element of MEMS MET seismometer using SOI process is also presented in this thesis. The significantly increased number of channels is expected to improve the noise performance. Inspired by the advantages of combining MET and MEMS technologies on the development of seismometer, a low frequency accelerometer utilizing MET technology with post-CMOS-compatible fabrication processes is developed. In the fabricated accelerometer, the complicated fabrication of mass-spring system in solid-state MEMS accelerometer is replaced with a much simpler post-CMOS-compatible process containing only deposition of a four-electrode MET structure on a planar substrate, and a liquid inertia mass of an electrolyte droplet encapsulated by oil film. The fabrication process does not involve focused ion beam milling which is used in the micro MET seismometer fabrication, thus the cost is lowered. Furthermore, the planar structure and the novel idea of using an oil film as the sealing diaphragm eliminate the complicated three-dimensional packaging of the seismometer. The fabricated device achieves 10.8 V/G sensitivity at 20 Hz with nearly flat response over the frequency range from 1 Hz to 50 Hz, and a low noise floor of 75 μG/√Hz at 20 Hz.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Ionic liquid/water/particle systems: fundamentals through experiment, application and simulation

Description

Ionic liquids (ILs), or low-temperature liquid salts, are a class of materials with unique and useful properties. Made up entirely of ions, ILs are remarkably tunable and diverse as cations

Ionic liquids (ILs), or low-temperature liquid salts, are a class of materials with unique and useful properties. Made up entirely of ions, ILs are remarkably tunable and diverse as cations and anions can be mixed and matched to yield desired properties. Because of this, IL/water systems range widely—from homogeneous mixtures to multiphasic systems featuring ionic liquid/liquid interfaces. Even more diversity is added when particles are introduced to these systems, as hard particles or soft-matter microgels interact with both ILs and water in complex ways. This work examines both miscible ionic liquid/water mixture and two-phase, immiscible ionic liquid/water systems. Extensive molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are utilized in conjunction with physical measurements to inform theoretical understanding of the nature of these systems, and this theoretical understanding is related to practical applications—in particular, the development of a low-temperature liquid electrolyte for use in molecular electronic transducer (MET) seismometers, and particle self-assembly and transport at ionic liquid/liquid interfaces such as those in Pickering emulsions.

The homogenous mixture of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium iodide and water is examined extensively through MD as well as physical characterization of properties. Molecular ordering within the liquid mixture is related to macroscopic properties. These mixtures are then used as the basis of an electrolyte with unusual characteristics, specifically a wide liquid temperature range with an extremely low lower bound combined with relatively low viscosity allowing excellent performance in the MET sensor. Electrolyte performance is further improved by the addition of fullerene nanoparticles, which dramatically increase device sensitivity. The reasons behind this effect are explored by testing the effect of graphene surface size and through MD simulations of fullerene and a silica nanoparticle (for contrast) in [BMIM][I]/water mixtures.

Immiscible ionic liquid/water systems are explored through MD studies of particles at IL/water interfaces. By increasing the concentration of hydrophobic nanoparticles at the IL/water interface, one study discovers the formation of a commingled IL/water/particle pseudo-phase, and relates this discovery to previously-observed unique behaviors of these interfaces, particularly spontaneous particle transport across the interface. The other study demonstrates that IL hydrophobicity can influence the deformation of thermo-responsive soft particles at the liquid/liquid interface.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Molecular electronic transducer based seismic motion sensors micro-fabrication, packaging and validation

Description

The instrumentational measurement of seismic motion is important for a wide range of research fields and applications, such as seismology, geology, physics, civil engineering and harsh environment exploration. This report

The instrumentational measurement of seismic motion is important for a wide range of research fields and applications, such as seismology, geology, physics, civil engineering and harsh environment exploration. This report presents series approaches to develop Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) enhanced inertial motion sensors including accelerometers, seismometers and inclinometers based on Molecular Electronic Transducers (MET) techniques.

Seismometers based on MET technology are attractive for planetary applications due to their high sensitivity, low noise floor, small size, absence of fragile mechanical moving parts and independence on the direction of sensitivity axis. By using MEMS techniques, a micro MET seismometer is developed with inter-electrode spacing close to 5 μm. The employment of MEMS improves the sensitivity of fabricated device to above 2500 V/(m/s2) under operating bias of 300 mV and input velocity of 8.4μm/s from 0.08Hz to 80Hz. The lowered hydrodynamic resistance by increasing the number of channels improves the self-noise to -135 dB equivalent to 18nG/√Hz (G=9.8m/s2) around 1.2 Hz.

Inspired by the advantages of combining MET and MEMS technologies on the development of seismometer, a feasibility study of development of a low frequency accelerometer utilizing MET technology with post-CMOS-compatible fabrication processes is performed. In the fabricated accelerometer, the complicated fabrication of mass-spring system in solid-state MEMS accelerometer is replaced with a much simpler post-CMOS-compatible process containing only deposition of a four-electrode MET structure on a planar substrate, and a liquid inertia mass of an electrolyte droplet. With a specific design of 3D printing based package and replace water based iodide solution by room temperature ionic liquid based electrolyte, the sensitivity relative to the ground motion can reach 103.69V/g, with the resolution of 5.25μG/√Hz at 1Hz.

By combining MET techniques and Zn-Cu electrochemical cell (Galvanic cell), this letter demonstrates a passive motion sensor powered by self-electrochemistry energy, named “Battery Accelerometer”. The experimental results indicated the peak sensitivity of battery accelerometer at its resonant frequency 18Hz is 10.4V/G with the resolution of 1.71μG without power consumption.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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A molecular electronic transducer based low-frequency accelerometer with electrolyte droplet sensing body

Description

"Sensor Decade" has been labeled on the first decade of the 21st century. Similar to the revolution of micro-computer in 1980s, sensor R&D; developed rapidly during the past 20 years.

"Sensor Decade" has been labeled on the first decade of the 21st century. Similar to the revolution of micro-computer in 1980s, sensor R&D; developed rapidly during the past 20 years. Hard workings were mainly made to minimize the size of devices with optimal the performance. Efforts to develop the small size devices are mainly concentrated around Micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS) technology. MEMS accelerometers are widely published and used in consumer electronics, such as smart phones, gaming consoles, anti-shake camera and vibration detectors. This study represents liquid-state low frequency micro-accelerometer based on molecular electronic transducer (MET), in which inertial mass is not the only but also the conversion of mechanical movement to electric current signal is the main utilization of the ionic liquid. With silicon-based planar micro-fabrication, the device uses a sub-micron liter electrolyte droplet sealed in oil as the sensing body and a MET electrode arrangement which is the anode-cathode-cathode-anode (ACCA) in parallel as the read-out sensing part. In order to sensing the movement of ionic liquid, an imposed electric potential was applied between the anode and the cathode. The electrode reaction, I_3^-+2e^___3I^-, occurs around the cathode which is reverse at the anodes. Obviously, the current magnitude varies with the concentration of ionic liquid, which will be effected by the movement of liquid droplet as the inertial mass. With such structure, the promising performance of the MET device design is to achieve 10.8 V/G (G=9.81 m/s^2) sensitivity at 20 Hz with the bandwidth from 1 Hz to 50 Hz, and a low noise floor of 100 ug/sqrt(Hz) at 20 Hz.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013