Integrating Multi-Functionality and Smart Performance in Hybrid Polymer Nanodielectrics (IMUSPON)

IMUSPON is a funded research program which came up from the 1st Call for H.F.R.I. Research Projects to Support Faculty Members & Researchers and Procure High-Value Research Equipment.

  • Host Institution: University of Patras, Department of Materials Science
  • Principal Investigator: G.C. Psarras
  • Collaborating Institutions: Institution of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, NCSR-“Demokritos" | Department of Physics, University of Thessaly.
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Budget: 187.999,16 euro

The present research project aims to the development of multi-functional polymer based nanodielectrics. The nanodielectric materials under study are polymer matrix nanocomposites, reinforced with:

(i) ferroelectric/polar oxides,  (ii) ferromagnetic , (iii) carbon allotropes nanoparticles (CNTs). 

A suitable epoxy resin is used as the polymer matrix, because of its thermomechanical stability, low shrinkage, flexibility in processing, enhanced environmental and corrosion resistance, high dielectric breakdown strength, and low cost. Each of the employed nanoreinforcements provides specific properties and behaviour contributing to the overall system’s performance. In particular, ferroelectric/polar oxides nanoparticles increase the dielectric permittivity of the composite nanodielectrics and induce variable polarization and tunable permittivity as a function of temperature. Ferromagnetic nanoparticles add magnetic properties to the nanodielectrics, while carbon nanoparticles increase systems’ conductivity and mechanical strength. The simultaneous presence of two different reinforcing phases and the resulting combination of the matrix/fillers properties will induce multi-functional behaviour to the composite nanodielectrics.

The challenge of the project is the development of a material/device being able to execute several functions (such as variable polarization, tunable dielectric response, adjustable conductivity, varying magnetic performance, energy storage and others), while being easy to make, light weight, cost effective exhibiting at the same time posessing structural integrity and suitable thermal response.

Materials exhibiting smart performance are expected to be able to tune their behaviour responding to an external or internal stimulus. Certain properties of these systems can be varied in a controllable way, such as stiffness, shape, damping capacity, natural vibration frequency, polarization, conductivity, energy storing efficiency etc. Smart structures are usually material systems incorporating functional constituents that can perform the operations of sensing, actuation and control. The smart behaviour of the whole system is induced by the large changes in amplitude of specific properties of the functional constituents, responding in real time to an imposed stimulus. The novelty of IMUPSON project relies on the introduction of a light weight, cost-effective, corrosion resistant multi-functional material-device, which integrates structural integrity, suitable thermal properties, variable polarization, tunable dielectric response, adjustable conductivity, varying magnetic behaviour and is able to store and retrieve energy.

Τhe successful completion of the current research project aims to produce and develop hybrid multi-functional material(s)/devices which can be employed as structural components, are able to store and retrieve energy, with controlled variation of their polarization and conductivity properties, good dynamic mechanical response, ability of sensing external stimuli, ability to work in a corrosive environment, while being easy to be produced and cost effective. All these functions should be performed by a complex system of materials, incorporating suitable ingredients without any external links and co-regulatory circuits.

Schematic representation of the working packages and their interactions.

Collaborating Institutions

Smart Materials & Nanodielectrics Laboratory
Department of Materials Science University of Patras
Institution of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Laboratory of Spectroscopy and Electrical - Electronic Measurements of Materials and Devices
Department of Physics | University of Thessaly

Research Team

Smart Materials & Nanodielectrics Laboratory

G. C. Psarras | Professor
A. Sanida | Postdoctoral Fellow
S. Gioti | PhD Student

Institution of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

A. Speliotis | Researcher

Laboratory of Spectroscopy and Electrical - Electronic Measurements of Materials and Devices

A. Kanapitsas | Professor
C. Tsonos | Professor
N. Petropoulos | Assistant Professor

Funded by: