Structural Insight in the Interfacial Effect in Ferroelectric Polymer Nanocomposites

Both experimental results and theoretical models suggest the decisive role of the filler-matrix interfaces on the dielectric, piezoelectric, pyroelectric, and electrocaloric properties of ferroelectric polymer nanocomposites. However, there remains a lack of direct structural evidence to support the so-called interfacial effect in dielectric nanocomposites. Here, a chemical mapping of the interfacial coupling between the nanofiller and the polymer matrix in ferroelectric polymer nanocomposites by combining atomic force microscopy-infrared spectroscopy (AFM-IR) with first-principles calculations and phase-field simulations is provided. The addition of ceramic fillers into a ferroelectric polymer leads to augmentation of the local conformational disorder in the vicinity of the interface, resulting in the local stabilization of the all-trans conformation (i.e., the polar beta phase). The formation of highly polar and inhomogeneous interfacial regions, which is further enhanced with a decrease of the filler size, has been identified experimentally and verified by phase-field simulations and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. This work offers unprecedented structural insights into the configurational disorder-induced interfacial effect and will enable rational design and molecular engineering of the filler-matrix interfaces of electroactive polymer nanocomposites to boost their collective properties.



Work Title Structural Insight in the Interfacial Effect in Ferroelectric Polymer Nanocomposites
Open Access
  1. Yang Liu
  2. Tiannan Yang
  3. Bing Zhang
  4. Teague Williams
  5. Yen-Ting Lin
  6. Li Li
  7. Yao Zhou
  8. Wenchang Lu
  9. Seong H. Kim
  10. Long-Qing Chen
  11. J. Bernholc
  1. Atomic force microscopy–infrared spectroscopy
  2. Ferroelectrics
  3. Filler-matrix interfaces
  4. Interfacial effects
  5. Polymer nanocomposites
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Advanced Materials
Publication Date 2020
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited August 10, 2022




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Updated
  • Added Creator Sandra Elder
  • Added Structural Insight in the Interfacial Effect in Ferroelectric Polymer Nanocomposites.pdf
  • Updated License Show Changes
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publisher, Publisher Identifier (DOI), and 1 more Show Changes
    • Atomic force microscopy–infrared spectroscopy, Ferroelectrics, Filler-matrix interfaces, Interfacial effects, Polymer nanocomposites
    • Advanced Materials
    Publisher Identifier (DOI)
    Publication Date
    • 2020-12
    • 2020
  • Deleted Creator Sandra Elder
  • Added Creator Yang Liu
  • Added Creator Tiannan Yang
  • Added Creator Bing Zhang
  • Added Creator Teague Williams
  • Added Creator Yen-Ting Lin
  • Added Creator Li Li
  • Added Creator Yao Zhou
  • Added Creator Wenchang Lu
  • Added Creator Seong H. Kim
  • Added Creator Long-Qing Chen
  • Added Creator J. Bernholc