Authors: H. Denver, E. Martin, A. Gupta, T. Heiman, A. Gupta, D-A. Borca-Tasciuc
Affilation: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States
Pages: 301 - 303
Keywords: magnetic characterization, elastic modulus, nickel nanocomposites
Applications that utilize magnetic polymer nanocomposites are currently emerging at a high rate. Examples include magnetic actuation in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and medical devices, thermal actuation through electromagnetic power harvesting, and magnetically actuated morphing structures. This work pursues the fabrication and characterization of nanocomposites based on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) with nickel (Ni) nanostructures as fillers. An electrochemical deposition process was employed to fabricate “in house” nickel nanowires. An anodic aluminum oxide membrane is used as the template with gallium indium as a seed layer. After fabrication, the nanowires are removed from the template by etching with a 6M sodium hydroxide solution. Before mixing with PDMS the nanostructures are coated with allyltrimethoxysilane surfactant to enhance dispersion. They are then added to the elastomer in a specific mixing process utilizing an ultrasonicator and a SpeedMixer. Finally, the polymer nanocomposite is partially cured and placed in uniform magnetic field to facilitate the alignment of nickel nanowires. The quality of the dispersion is evaluated through scanning electron microscope images and magnetic force microscopy images. The nanocomposites are further characterized by stress-strain curves collected by an instron, hysteresis loops obtained by vibrating sample magnetometer and melting temperature determined by employing a differential scanning calorimetry machine.