Preparation and characterization of multifunctional piezoenergetic polyvinylidene fluoride/aluminum nanocomposite films

Metin Örnek, Kyle E. Uhlenhake, Yao Zhou, Bruce Zhang, Matias Kalaswad, Diane N. Collard, Haiyan Wang, Qing Wang, Steven F. Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We prepared poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and aluminum composite dense films using a tape caster and investigated the microstructural, thermal, and electrical properties and the combustion behavior of the films as a function of nano-aluminum (nAl) solids loading (5-30 wt. %). We found that the addition of nAl facilitates the formation of piezoelectric β and γ phases of PVDF as determined by x-ray diffraction and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. At higher nAl solid loadings, the lower onset temperature of the pre-ignition and decomposition reactions have been observed. Moreover, the intentionally incorporated porosity into the films slightly affected the thermal decomposition behavior. While the dielectric constant of the films increases with higher nAl content, the dielectric breakdown strength of the films decreases significantly. The critical active nAl content for the films to exhibit self-propagated reaction was determined to be between 10 and 15 wt. %. Thermochemical calculations using the NASA CEA code showed the maximum flame temperature of 1750 °C near the stoichiometric ratio (∼20 wt. %). The burning rate of the films is enhanced drastically at ambient conditions with further addition of nAl. However, the films with active nAl content over 20 wt. % showed lower flame temperatures, which is due to the reduction of hydrofluoric acid gas generation and the incomplete combustion of Al to form aluminum monofluoride (AlF), instead of aluminum fluoride (AlF3) gas. The fabrication of energetic thin films with tunable properties could enable their use in multifunctional energetic material systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055108
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 7 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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