Novel Responsive Polymer System and its 1D Nanohybrid Thin Films
Tech ID: 20779 / UC Case 2010-423-0
Technological advancement demands new types of transducer materials that can efficiently sense and convert force and energy form one type to another for signal processing and modulation, switching and actuation, sensing and energy harvesting. It is also desirable to have transducer materials that mimic cylindrical outer hair cells and retinal cells and able to detect and convert signals instantly and reliably with exceptionally high coupling efficiency at reduced size. Nanocomposite materials could provide the necessary advantages, but are difficulty to be synthesized with controlled morphology and interface characteristics.
The rod-coil copolymer systems have attracted widespread interest in both fundamental understanding of the thermodynamics that control nanoscale self-assembly in polymers, as well as technological implication associated with the unique characteristics of the novel designed systems. With inception of the responsive polymer system designed by the inventors, for the first time, there are opportunities to design materials without the compromises typically found in conventional composites. The rationally synthesized nanomaterials can be processed in a thin film format, which provides a platform for technology innovation.
A researcher at the University of California, Merced (UC Merced) has developed novel responsive polymers that comprise a hard segment that deforms upon light stimulation and a soft segment that deforms upon thermal stimulation, and nanomaterial-polymer composite comprising the novel responsive polymers.
The UC Merced invention can be applied for polymeric transducer materials and sensor systems. This polymer system and its associated composite 1D nanomaterials can be processed into hybrid thin film and directly incorporated into MEM-based device platforms.
This invention relates to the field of transducer materials, which are used for sensing, amplifying and converting light and heat into macroscopically detectable forms for signal processing, modulation and energy conversion.
The broad application areas range from energy saving, energy harvesting, aerospace, automotive and electronics to biotechnology.
The UC Merced polymer system and its 1D nanohybrid thin films have:
- greatly increased number of cycle times;
- faster response and recovery times;
- significant enhanced sensitivity (temperature and light) with amplified responses; and
- covalent linkage with nanoscale functional moieties to create hybrid nanomaterial systems with new functionalities and properties hitherto unattainable.
- Lu, Jennifer Q.