Metal ion implantation in inert polymers for strain gauge applications

TitleMetal ion implantation in inert polymers for strain gauge applications
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsDi Girolamo, G., Massaro M., Piscopiello E., and Tapfer L.
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
KeywordsAgglomeration, Applied surface, Characteristic surfaces, Conducting films, Conductive films, Cu nanoparticles, Dispersed metals, Electric conductivity, electrical conductivity, Electrical resistances, Fluences, Glancing-incidence X-ray diffraction, Inert polymers, Ion fluences, Ion implantation, Linear relationships, Low energies, Metal ions, Metal nanoparticles, Metal polymers, Metals, Microstructural properties, Nano films, Nanocomposites, Nanoparticle morphology, Nanoparticles, Near-surface, Polycarbonate substrates, Polycrystalline, Polymer films, Polymer nanocomposite, Polymer surfaces, Polymers, Precipitation (chemical), Room temperature, Strain gages, Strain gauge, surface plasmon resonance, TEM, Transmission electron microscopy, Ultra-thin, X ray diffraction, X ray diffraction analysis

Metal ion implantation in inert polymers may produce ultra-thin conducting films below the polymer surface. These subsurface films are promising structures for strain gauge applications. To this purpose, polycarbonate substrates were irradiated at room temperature with low-energy metal ions (Cu+ and Ni+) and with fluences in the range between 1 × 1016 and 1 × 1017 ions/cm2, in order to promote the precipitation of dispersed metal nanoparticles or the formation of a continuous thin film. The nanoparticle morphology and the microstructural properties of polymer nanocomposites were investigated by glancing-incidence X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) measurements. At lower fluences (<5 × 1016 ions/cm2) a spontaneous precipitation of spherical-shaped metal nanoparticles occurred below the polymer top-surface (∼50 nm), whereas at higher fluences the aggregation of metal nanoparticles produced the formation of a continuous polycrystalline nanofilm. Furthermore, a characteristic surface plasmon resonance peak was observed for nanocomposites produced at lower ion fluences, due to the presence of Cu nanoparticles. A reduced electrical resistance of the near-surface metal-polymer nanocomposite was measured. The variation of electrical conductivity as a function of the applied surface load was measured: we found a linear relationship and a very small hysteresis. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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