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Functional and Multifunctional Polymers: Materials for Smart StructuresThe ultimate goal of the research in smart structures and smart materials is the development of a new generation of products/devices which will perform better than products/devices built from passive materials. There are a few examples of multilayer polymer systems which function as smart structures, e.g. a synthetic muscle which is a multilayer assembly of a poly(ethylene) layer, a gold layer, and a poly(pyrrole) layer immersed in a liquid electrolyte. Oxidation and reductions of the active pyrrole layer causes the assembly to reversibly deflect and mimic biological muscles. The drawback of such a setup is slow response times and the use of a liquid electrolyte. We have developed multifunctional polymers which will eliminate the use of a liquid electrolyte, and also because the functionalities of the polymers are within a few hundred angstroms, an improved response time to changes in the external field should be possible. Such multifunctional polymers may be classified as the futuristic 'smart materials.' These materials are composed of a number of different functionalities which work in a synergistic fashion to function as a device. The device performs on the application of an external field and such multifunctional polymers may be scientifically labeled as 'field responsive polymers.' Our group has undertaken a systematic approach to develop functional and multifunctional polymers capable of functioning as field responsive polymers. Our approach utilizes multicomponent polymer systems (block copolymers and graft copolymers), the strategy involves the preparation of block or graft copolymers where the functionalities are limited to different phases in a microphase separated system. Depending on the weight (or volume) fractions of each of the components, different microstructures are possible. And, because of the intimate contact between the functional components, an increase in the synergism between the functionalities may be observed. In this presentation, three examples of multifunctional polymers developed in our labs will be reported. The first class of multifunctional polymers are the microphase separated mixed (ionic and electronic) conducting or MIEC block copolymers. The second class being developed in our labs are the biocompatible conductive materials and the conductive fluids. The final class may be considered microwave active smart polymers.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Arnold, S. (Clark-Atlanta Univ. GA United States)
Pratt, L. M. (Clark-Atlanta Univ. GA United States)
Li, J. (Clark-Atlanta Univ. GA United States)
Wuagaman, M. (Clark-Atlanta Univ. GA United States)
Khan, I. M. (Clark-Atlanta Univ. GA United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 1996
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the 4th Annual Workshop: Advances in Smart Materials for Aerospace Applications
Subject Category
Nonmetallic Materials
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19960047656Analytic PrimaryProceedings of the 4th Annual Workshop: Advances in Smart Materials for Aerospace Applications
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