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Exploration and Optimization of Novel Piezoelectric Devices

Petroff, Christopher Andrew (2022) Exploration and Optimization of Novel Piezoelectric Devices. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Piezoelectricity, the linear interconversion of mechanical work and electrical potential, is utilized in a variety of transducers, sensors, actuators, and energy harvesting devices. It consists of a direct effect, where mechanical force leads to buildup of electrical charge and a converse effect, where an applied electrical potential produces a mechanical deformation. While traditional piezoelectric devices rely upon crystalline and ceramic materials that are often hard and brittle, there is an growing body of research on soft, flexible, and biocompatible devices. This dissertation focuses on the exploration and optimization of novel piezoelectric devices developed through a rational design approach. An array of piezoelectric devices are presented, based off of two different tunable scaffolds. Utilizing polar, small organic molecule dopants or oligopeptide self-assembled monolayers, these molecularly engineered piezoelectrics show great potential in energy harvesting and sensing applications.

A semi-automated system was developed to test and analyze the piezoelectric direct effect of devices in a quasi-static manner. It was then deployed for the study of piezoelectric foams based on an array of different polar, small organic molecules deposited on a poly(dimethylsiloxane) foam scaffold; the dopant molecules were electrically poled into polar alignment. This system allows for the independent tuning of the piezoelectric response through changes in either the mechanical properties of the foam's modulus or the electrical properties stemming from the dopant. Next, oligopeptide based devices are examined. As their polar order stems from the self-assembly of the monolayer, they are intrinsically piezoelectric and poling free. These devices are easily produced through solution processing and hold great potential as sensors due to their exceptionally large piezoelectric voltage constant. Work has begun on examining these oligopeptides, using piezo force microscopy and computational methods, to better understand the mechanisms behind their piezoelectric nature and, hopefully, molecularly engineer improved devices.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Petroff, Christopher Andrewcap146@pitt.educap1460000-0003-2264-7983
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHutchison, Geoffrey R.geoffh@pitt.edu0000-0002-1757-1980
Committee MemberMeyer, Tara Y.tara.meyer@pitt.edu0000-0002-9810-454X
Committee MemberLaaser, Jennifer E.j.laaser@pitt.edu0000-0002-0551-9659
Committee MemberShankar, M. Raviravishm@pitt.edu0000-0001-9608-6627
Date: 25 July 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 15 July 2021
Approval Date: 25 July 2022
Submission Date: 27 July 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 204
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Chemistry
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: chemistry; piezoelectric; foam; peptide; energy harvester; sensor; self-assembled monolayer
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2022 22:08
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2022 22:08


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