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Nha Uyen Huynh1

1, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, United States

The class of active polymers is gaining an increasing attention since it combines the appealing mechanical properties of polymers of strength and toughness to weight ratio with additional functionalities such electrical, magnetic, or luminescence. For example, a subset of electroactive polymers exhibit electromechanical coupling, where an application of electric field results in a mechanical deformation and vice versa. The latter coupling situates this class of materials for sensing and actuation applications. Despite the appealing attributes and potential application, characterization protocols are limited to the macroscale when it comes to the concurrent interrelationship between mechanical and electrical energies. Terahertz Time Domain Spectroscopy (THz-TDS), on the other hands, is capable of elucidating the simultaneous intrinsic electromechanical coupling since the energy below the activation energies of polymers that are also transparent to terahertz waves. In other words, the propagation of terahertz waves becomes intimate with the polymer continue, hence the reported frequency spectrum inherit the intermolecular vibrations resulting from either applying electrical field or mechanical stresses. In this presentation, the electromechanical response of standalone, ultrathin Poly (vinylidene fluoride-co-trifluoroethylene) film fabricated using spin coating technique. The frequency spectra of propagating terahertz waves are compared before, during, and after the application of varying electric field and mechanical stresses.

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