Studies of PVDF on surfaces

Organic ferroelectric materials open up new avenues for flexible devices, such as tactile sensors. The crystalline poly(vinylidene difluoride) PVDF β-phase polymorph (see figure) stands out among FE polymers due to its large dipole moment and chemical stability. However, polymorph control of PVDF has been elusive. There is a lack of fundamental understanding of polymorph control, not only in PVDF but in a wide range of molecular systems, and of how surface effects can be used to harness the desired polymorph.


This project aims to understand the phase stability of the different polymorphs of PVDF and to understand how the addition of solid surfaces, such as nanofiller particles, can influence polymorph stability. This project uses quantum density functional theory to understand the crystalline phases, and classical molecular dynamics simulations to understand how a surface influences the melt properties and, hence, affects the formation of a particular polymorph.

For more information about the project contact Dr Karen Johnston (karen.johnston [at] strath [dot] ac [dot] uk), Lecturer at the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.

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