Ultrasonically Assisted Preparation of Carbon Fiber Doped Electriclly Conductive Micropatternable Nanocomposite Polymer for MEMS/Nems Applications

Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Prince George's Exhibit Hall D/E (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)


Polymer MEMS/NEMS is a fast growing field with applications in lab on a chip (LOC), μTAS to new sensors and actuators to flexible micro-nano devices [1, 2,3]. While many polymers have been employed to realize flexible MEMS and microfluidic devices such as stated above, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a silicone based elastomer, has been widely used because of its biocompatibility, low cost, low toxicity, high oxidative and thermal stability, optical transparent, low permeability to water, low electrical conductivity, and ease of micropatterning [4,5,6,7, 8]. However, most devices based on PDMS or any kind of polymers are passive and, if active devices are fabricated, then they are bonded to substrates like glass which may contain active components like electrodes, heaters etc patterned on glass. This is because it has proven difficult to integrate, embed or pattern conducting lines, magnetic materials on PDMS because of the weak adhesion between PDMS and metals/alloys. In order to over come this problem, in past we had demonstrated fabrication of various PDMS based micropatternable nanocomposite polymers which are either electrically conductive and magnetic in nature [9, 10, 11, 12].

In this work we present an improved electrically and thermally conducuctive micropatternable PDMS based nanocomposite polymer containg milled carbon fibers, prepared by ultrasonically assisted processing technology. The prepared nanocomposite not only shows a better electrical and thermal conductivity cpmpared to previpusly reported work [13, 14,15,16, 17], but also negative temerate cofficient of resistivity (NTCR), making them as an ideal candidate for on chip μ-temperature sensors.


Authors would like to thank Nippon Graphite Fiber Co., Ltd, Japan; for proving milled carbon fiber and technical support for this project.


  1. A. Khosla, B.L. Gray, Preparation, characterization and micromolding of multi-walled carbon nanotube polydimethylsiloxane conducting nanocomposite polymer, Materials Letters, Volume 63, Issues 13–14, 31 May 2009, Pages 1203-1206, ISSN 0167-577X, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.matlet.2009.02.043
  2. Khosla, A. and Gray, B. L. (2010), Preparation, Micro-Patterning and Electrical Characterization of Functionalized Carbon-Nanotube Polydimethylsiloxane Nanocomposite Polymer. Macromol. Symp., 297: 210-218. doi:10.1002/masy.200900165
  3. Khosla, Ajit, and Bonnie L. Gray. "(Invited) Micropatternable Multifunctional Nanocomposite Polymers for Flexible Soft NEMS and MEMS Applications." ECS Transactions 45.3 (2012): 477-494. doi: 10.1149/1.3700913
  4. Khosla, A. (2011). Micropatternable multifunctional nanocomposite polymers for flexible soft MEMS applications (Doctoral dissertation, Applied Science: School of Engineering Science). http://summit.sfu.ca/item/12017
  5. Ozhikandathil, Jayan, Ajit Khosla, and Muthukumaran Packirisamy. "Electrically Conducting PDMS Nanocomposite Using In Situ Reduction of Gold Nanostructures and Mechanical Stimulation of Carbon Nanotubes and Silver Nanoparticles." ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology 4.10 (2015): S3048-S3052. doi: 10.1149/2.0091510jss
  6. Packirisamy, Muthukumaran, Jayan Ozhikandathil, and Ajit Khosla. "Methods for fabricating morphologically transformed nano-structures (mtns) and tunable nanocomposite polymer materials, and devices using such materials." U.S. Patent Application No. 14/776,833.
  7. Daniel D. Hilbich ; Ajit Khosla ; Bonnie L. Gray ; Lesley Shannon; Bidirectional magnetic microactuators for uTAS. Proc. SPIE 7929, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems IX, 79290H (February 14, 2011); doi:10.1117/12.875788.
  8. D. Hilbich ; A. Rahbar ; A. Khosla ; B. L. Gray; Manipulation of permanent magnetic polymer micro-robots: a new approach towards guided wireless capsule endoscopy. Proc. SPIE 8548, Nanosystems in Engineering and Medicine, 85482I (October 24, 2012); doi:10.1117/12.979250.
  9. A. Khosla ; B. L. Gray; New technologies for large-scale micropatterning of functional nanocomposite polymers. Proc. SPIE 8344, Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2012, 83440W (April 26, 2012); doi:10.1117/12.915178.
  10. Ang Li ; Ajit Khosla ; Connie Drewbrook ; Bonnie L. Gray; Fabrication and testing of thermally responsive hydrogel-based actuators using polymer heater elements for flexible microvalves. Proc. SPIE 7929, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems IX, 79290G (February 14, 2011); doi:10.1117/12.873197.
  11. Khosla, Ajit. "Nanoparticle-doped electrically-conducting polymers for flexible nano-micro Systems." The Electrochemical Society Interface 21.3-4 (2012): 67-70. doi: 10.1149/2.F04123-4if
  12. Gray, B. L., & Khosla, A. (2010). Microfabrication and applications of nanoparticle doped conductive polymers (pp. 227-262). McGraw Hill.
  13. Hesketh, Peter J., et al. "Conducting polymers and their applications." Electrochemical Society Interface (2012): 61. http://interface.ecsdl.org/content/21/3-4.toc.pdf
  14. Rahbar, Mona, Sam Seyfollahi, Ajit Khosla, Bonnie L. Gray, and Lesley Shannon. "Fabrication process for electromagnetic actuators compatible with polymer based microfluidic devices." ECS Transactions 41, no. 20 (2012): 7-17. doi: 10.1149/1.3687433
  15. Chung, D., et al. "Investigations of flexible Ag/AgCl nanocomposite polymer electrodes for suitability in tissue electrical impedance scanning (EIS)." Journal of The Electrochemical Society 161.2 (2014): B3071-B3076. doi: 10.1149/2.018402jes
  16. Griffith, K.T., Ahmadizadeh, C., Huang, C., Pararameswaran, M.R., Young, J., Lee, C., Yang, T.O., Tam, C., Jin, Y., Jones, J. and Sjoerdsma, M., 2011, March. Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Doped Polydimethyalsiloxane Ribbon Cables for Flexible Microsystems. In Meeting Abstracts (No. 45, pp. 2080-2080). The Electrochemical Society.
  17. Khosla, Ajit, and Bonnie Lynne Gray. "Electrically conductive, thermosetting elastomeric material and uses therefor." U.S. Patent No. 8,557,385. 15 Oct. 2013.