Materials World Network: Modulation of Electron Oscillation Characteristics of Nanostructured Conducting Polymer Films during Electrochemical Switching

Project: Research project

Project Details


The goal of this project is to probe the mechanism of how the electroactivity of conducting polymers can be significantly influenced by the sequestered nanoparticles surface plasmons, which can then be modulated by electrochemical switching. A fundamental understanding of the new synergistic properties that may arise from these studies can enable the development of plasmonic devices. Polymer-nanoparticle interactions are important in many areas of research-from sensors to microelectronics and photovoltaics. The investigators have developed the technology for nanostructured poly(amic acid) films that are electroactive and transparent by preventing its imidization to polyimide, while retaining its carboxylic acid and amine functionalities. They study the fundamentals of conducting polymer-metal nanoparticles synergies. A range of new conducting poly(amic acid)/metal composite films will be developed and characterized. The effect of composition and microstructure on the optical and electrochemical properties of the polymer/metal composite materials will be studied. The materials to be developed and the transferable skills of the investigators will be shared between SUNY-Binghamton and their partners at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa during exchange visits. The final goal is to develop low cost sensors for environmentally important compounds.

This project integrates research and training. It will also combine the complementary expertise of the SUNY advanced sensors and smart materials group with the South Africa's electrochemistry group in a study that has significant implications to understand the synergy between polymers and nanoparticles. The research benefits arising from the complementary expertise of these two international teams: development and precision characterization of conducting membranes that are electroactive and transparent at SUNY-Binghamton, and electrochemistry capabilities at the U. of the Western Cape. The investigators will conduct electrochemistry and sensors workshop at the University of the Western Cape with the goal of developing materials for research training, classroom instruction and outreach to the community. US students will spend time doing research at the U. of the Western Cape developing new, smart devices, which are easy to fabricate but do not require complicated electronics to modulate the switching action. This project will promote the application of low-cost electrochemical sensors in addressing global, environmental pollution, particularly for developing countries.

This award is co-funded by the Division of Materials Research and the Office of International Science and Engineering.

Effective start/end date7/15/105/31/14


  • National Science Foundation: $330,000.00


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