Piezoelectric composites were prepared by dielectrophoretic alignment of high aspect ratio piezoelectric particles in a thermosetting polymer matrix. A high level of alignment was achieved in the cured composite from a resin containing randomly oriented high aspect ratio particles. Upon application of an electric field during curing of the resin, the particles were found to rotate with their long axes in the direction of the electric field, before coalescing to form chains. The dielectric and piezoelectric properties of the structured composites are well described by an analytical model for composites containing particles arranged into chains. The influence of degree of rotation and aspect ratio of the individual particles as well as their spacing is described with this model. The results correlate with the experimental values for both permittivity and piezoelectric constants in the poling direction. Dielectric and piezoelectric properties were significantly improved with respect to randomly dispersed piezoelectric ceramic powder-polymer composites and the maximum g 33 was shifted to a lower volume fraction. The results could have implications for development of dielectric and piezoelectric (nano-)fiber composites for dielectrics such as embedded capcitors, as well as piezoelectrics for sensing and energy harvesting applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy