Ultra‐high elastic strain energy storage in hybrid metal‐oxide infiltrated polymer nanocomposites
October 1-6, 2017
An understanding of the mechanical properties of materials at nanometer length scales, including a material’s ability to store and release elastic strain energy, is of great significance in the effective miniaturization of actuators, sensors and resonators for use in micro-/nano-electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) as well as advanced development of artificial muscles for locomotion in soft robots. The measure of a material’s ability to store and release elastic strain energy, the modulus of resilience (R), is a crucial parameter in realizing such advanced mechanical actuation technologies. Typically, engineering a material system with a large R requires large increases in the material’s yield strength yet conservative increase in Young’s modulus, an engineering challenge as the two mechanical properties are strongly coupled; generally, strengthening methods results in considerable stiffening or increase in the Young’s modulus. Here, we present hybrid composite polymer nanopillars which achieve the highest specific R ever reported, by utilizing vapor-phase aluminum oxide infiltrations into lithographically patterned polymer resist SU-8. In-situ nanomechanical measurements reveal high, metallic-like yield strengths (~500 MPa) combined with a compliant, polymeric-like Young’s modulus (~7 GPa), a unique pairing never observed in known engineering materials. It is these exceptional elastic properties of our hybrid composite which allows for realization of R per density (Rs) values ~ 11200 J/kg, orders of magnitude greater than those in most engineering material systems. The high elastic energy storage/release capability of this material, as well as its compatibility with lithographic techniques, makes it an attractive candidate in the design of MEMS devices, which require an ultra-high elastic component for advanced actuation and sensor technologies. Furthermore, an opportunity for tunability of the elastic properties of the SU-8 polymeric material exists with this fabrication technique by varying the number of infiltration cycles or the organometallic precursor
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Keith Dusoe, Seok-Woo Lee, Xinyi Ye, Aaron Stein, Chang-Yong Nam, and Kim Kisslinger, "Ultra‐high elastic strain energy storage in hybrid metal‐oxide infiltrated polymer nanocomposites" in "Nanomechanical Testing in Materials Research and Development VI", Karsten Durst, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany Eds, ECI Symposium Series, (2017). http://dc.engconfintl.org/nanomechtest_vi/45