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Material Properties of Polymer Nanoparticle Composites for Micro Optical Applications

E. Ritzhaupt-Kleissl, J. Böhm, J. Haußelt, T. Hanemann
Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, DE

polymer ceramic nanocomposite, optics, tensile strength

Nanosized ceramics, highly dispersed into polymer matrix materials, are widely being discussed for the modification of polymer properties. For applications in microsystem technology, the modification of the polymers’ optical and mechanical properties is of certain interest. The addition of ceramics with primary particle sizes of several nanometres allows specific tailoring of relevant optical properties, e. g. refractive index and optical damping. Also ceramic nanoparticles dispersed into a polymer host system are expected to improve the mechanical properties of the polymers, e. g. tensile strength distinctively. To obtain low cost polymer optical device fabrication a process chain was established starting from polymer nanoparticle composite formation until device fabrication. A homogenous particle distribution in the polymer matrix can only be achieved using improved dispersing methods to destroy ceramic agglomerates. In microsystem technologies, the durability of a device is of great importance. Especially the ageing behaviour of polymers in harsh fields of application, e. g. in an engine compartment, is of great interest. Therefore, the influence of elevated temperatures on material properties like refractive index, optical damping and tensile strength was investigated.

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