Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors II

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 January 2024) | Viewed by 2749

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
BCMaterials, Basque Center for Materials, Applications and Nanostructures, UPV/EHU Science Park, 48940 Leioa, Spain
Interests: smart materials; 3D printing; polymer-based composites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Center of Physics, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Interests: polymer composites; additive manufacturing; functional materials; sensors and actuators; energy harvesting; stretchable sensors; natural polymers; prototypes devices
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smart materials and sensor systems have attracted tremendous attention in recent years due to promising potential applications in wearable electronics, health monitoring, human motion detection, human–machine interaction, and soft robotics. Significant progress in the development of high-performance sensing devices has been achieved in recent years, particularly in terms of sensing components, sensor design parameters, morphology design, and processing techniques. One of the most critical aspects is the choice of suitable materials that meet the requirements of specific transduction mechanisms, such as piezoresistive, piezoelectric, and pyroelectric, amongst others. Thus, polymer-based materials have been widely implemented due to several advantages, such as the possible combinations with functional fillers, low cost, and compatibility with several additive manufacturing techniques. Despite recent developments, highly effective polymer-based materials with high sensitivity and resolution, and that incorporate multifunctional and self-sensing capabilities, need to be explored.

Dr. Carmen Rial Tubio
Dr. Pedro Costa
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • sensor fabrication
  • polymer composites
  • sensing mechanism
  • flexible and stretchable sensors
  • natural polymer
  • synthetic polymer

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 3573 KiB  
Article
Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) Blends with Poly(caprolactone) and Poly(lactic acid): A Comparative Study
by Carmen R. Tubio, Xabier Valle, Estela Carvalho, Joana Moreira, Pedro Costa, Daniela M. Correia and Senentxu Lanceros-Mendez
Polymers 2023, 15(23), 4566; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15234566 - 29 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
Poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hidroxyvalerate) (PHBV) is a biodegradable polymer, which is a potential substitute for plastics made from fossil resources. Due to its practical interest in the field of tissue engineering, packaging, sensors, and electronic devices, the demand for PHBV with specific thermal, electrical, [...] Read more.
Poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hidroxyvalerate) (PHBV) is a biodegradable polymer, which is a potential substitute for plastics made from fossil resources. Due to its practical interest in the field of tissue engineering, packaging, sensors, and electronic devices, the demand for PHBV with specific thermal, electrical, as well as mechanical requirements is growing. In order to improve these properties, we have developed PHBV blends with two thermoplastic biodegradable polyesters, including poly(caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(lactic acid) (PLA). We analysed the effect of these biopolymers on the morphological, wetting, structural, thermal, mechanical, and electrical characteristics of the materials. Further, the biodegradation of the samples in simulated body fluid conditions was evaluated, as well as the antibacterial activity. The results demonstrate that the blending with PCL and PLA leads to films with a dense morphology, increases the hydrophilic character, and induces a reinforcement of the mechanical characteristics with respect to pristine PHBV. In addition, a decrease in dielectric constant and a.c. electrical conductivity was noticed for PHBV/PLA and PHBV/PCL blends compared to neat PHBV polymer. All neat polymers and blends showed antibacterial properties against S. aureus, with more than 40% bacterial reduction, which increased to 72% in the presence of PCL polymer for a blend ratio of 50/50. Thus, it is demonstrated a suitable way to further tailor a variety of functionalities of PHBV for specific applications, by the development of polymer blends with PLA or PCL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors II)
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17 pages, 11824 KiB  
Article
Development of MWCNT/Magnetite Flexible Triboelectric Sensors by Magnetic Patterning
by David Seixas Esteves, Manuel F. C. Pereira, Ana Ribeiro, Nelson Durães, Maria C. Paiva and Elsa W. Sequeiros
Polymers 2023, 15(13), 2870; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15132870 - 29 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1172
Abstract
The fabrication of low-electrical-percolation-threshold polymer composites aims to reduce the weight fraction of the conductive nanomaterial necessary to achieve a given level of electrical resistivity of the composite. The present work aimed at preparing composites based on multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and magnetite [...] Read more.
The fabrication of low-electrical-percolation-threshold polymer composites aims to reduce the weight fraction of the conductive nanomaterial necessary to achieve a given level of electrical resistivity of the composite. The present work aimed at preparing composites based on multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and magnetite particles in a polyurethane (PU) matrix to study the effect on the electrical resistance of electrodes produced under magnetic fields. Composites with 1 wt.% of MWCNT, 1 wt.% of magnetite and combinations of both were prepared and analysed. The hybrid composites combined MWCNTs and magnetite at the weight ratios of 1:1; 1:1/6; 1:1/12; and 1:1/24. The results showed that MWCNTs were responsible for the electrical conductivity of the composites since the composites with 1 wt.% magnetite were non-conductive. Combining magnetite particles with MWCNTs reduces the electrical resistance of the composite. SQUID analysis showed that MWCNTs simultaneously exhibit ferromagnetism and diamagnetism, ferromagnetism being dominant at lower magnetic fields and diamagnetism being dominant at higher fields. Conversely, magnetite particles present a ferromagnetic response much stronger than MWCNTs. Finally, optical microscopy (OM) and X-ray micro computed tomography (micro CT) identified the interaction between particles and their location inside the composite. In conclusion, the combination of magnetite and MWCNTs in a polymer composite allows for the control of the location of these particles using an external magnetic field, decreasing the electrical resistance of the electrodes produced. By adding 1 wt.% of magnetite to 1 wt.% of MWCNT (1:1), the electric resistance of the composites decreased from 9 × 104 to 5 × 103 Ω. This approach significantly improved the reproducibility of the electrode’s fabrication process, enabling the development of a triboelectric sensor using a polyurethane (PU) composite and silicone rubber (SR). Finally, the method’s bearing was demonstrated by developing an automated robotic soft grip with tendon-driven actuation controlled by the triboelectric sensor. The results indicate that magnetic patterning is a versatile and low-cost approach to manufacturing sensors for soft robotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials for Sensors II)
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