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Open AccessArticle

Phase Inversion in PVDF Films with Enhanced Piezoresponse Through Spin-Coating and Quenching

1
Department of Astronautical, Electrical and Energy Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Eudossiana 18, Rome 00184, Italy
2
Research Center for Nanotechnology Applied to Engineering of Sapienza (CNIS), SNNLab, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5, Rome 00185, Italy
3
ENEA, Frascati Research Center, Via Enrico Fermi, 45, Frascati 00044, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(7), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11071096
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 24 June 2019 / Accepted: 24 June 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
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Abstract

In the present work, poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) films were produced by spin-coating, and applying different conditions of quenching, in order to investigate the dominant mechanism of the β-phase formation. The influence of the polymer/solvent mass ratio of the solution, the rotational speed of the spin-coater and the crystallization temperature of the film on both the β-phase content and the piezoelectric coefficient (d33) were investigated. This study demonstrates that the highest values of d33 are obtained when thinner films, produced with a lower concentration of polymer in the solvent (i.e., 20 wt.%), go through quenching in water, at room temperature. Whereas, in the case of higher polymer concentration (i.e., 30 wt.%), the best value of d33 (~30 pm/V) was obtained through quenching in liquid nitrogen, at the temperature of 77 K. We believe that in the former case, phase inversion is mainly originated by electrostatic interaction of PVDF with the polar molecules of water, due to the low viscosity of the polymer solution. On the contrary, in the latter case, due to higher viscosity of the solution, mechanical stretching induced on the polymer during spin-coating deposition is the main factor inducing self-alignment of the β-phase. These findings open up a new way to realize highly efficient devices for energy harvesting and wearable sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF); quenching; piezoelectric effect; piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF); quenching; piezoelectric effect; piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Fortunato, M.; Cavallini, D.; De Bellis, G.; Marra, F.; Tamburrano, A.; Sarto, F.; Sarto, M.S. Phase Inversion in PVDF Films with Enhanced Piezoresponse Through Spin-Coating and Quenching. Polymers 2019, 11, 1096.

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