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Nominated as an outstanding Ph.D. thesis by the University of Bath, UK
Reports on the discovery of a broad negative differential resistance region in a flexible composite
Demonstrates strain-tuned flexible oscillators
Describes a pressure-sensitive material suitable for state-of-the-art bio-electronic applications
This thesis examines a novel class of flexible electronic material with great potential for use in the construction of stretchable amplifiers and memory elements. Most remarkably the composite material produces spontaneous oscillations that increase in frequency when pressure is applied to it. In this way, the material mimics the excitatory response of pressure-sensing neurons in the human skin. The composites, formed of silicone and graphitic nanoparticles, were prepared in several allotropic forms and functionalized with naphthalene diimide molecules. A systematic study is presented of the negative differential resistance (NDR) region of the current-voltage curves, which is responsible for the material’s active properties. This study was conducted as a function of temperature, graphite filling fraction, scaling to reveal the break-up of the samples into electric field domains at the onset of the NDR region, and an electric-field induced metal-insulator transition in graphite nanoparticles. The effect of molecular functionalization on the miscibility threshold and the current-voltage curves is demonstrated. Room-temperature and low-temperature measurements were performed on these composite films under strains using a remote-controlled, custom-made step motor bench.
Content Level »Research
Keywords »Bilayer Graphene - Composite Films - Flexible Electronic Materials - Functionalization with Naphthalene Diimide - Functionalized Composite Materials - Graphite and Graphene - Negative Differential Resistance (NDR) - Pressure-sensing Neurons - Silicone and Graphitic Nanoparticles