In recent years, scientists advanced the study of bio-ferroelectric composites to develop new environmentally friendly and inexpensive electronic elements such as capacitors, actuators, and transistors. Accordingly, the present research relates to composites made of chitosan-cellulose polymeric matrix and strontium titanate (STO) nanoparticles. The variables considered include different percentages of cellulose (15 and 25 v%) and strontium titanate nanoparticles (10 and 20 wt%). The electrical characterization of the composites included measuring their dielectric constant, current density, and conductivity. The results suggest that the addition of STO nanoparticles raised the dielectric constant while lowering the current density and the conductivity of the nanocomposites. Moreover, although the cellulose addition increased the current density and the conductivity of the composites, it lowered their dielectric constant. Also, the resulting biocomposite capacitors could withstand up to 60 V without any detectable dielectric breakdown. The other two properties measured were the ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and the degradation temperature (Tdeg). Higher percentages of cellulose decreased the UTS and the Tdeg of the chitosan-cellulose composites while the addition of cellulose slightly raised these properties of the composites made of chitosan-cellulose and STO nanoparticles. The results proved that these types of biocomposites are apt as capacitors with adequate strength to withstand aggressive environments. This work was fully conducted in the facilities of the Nanotechnology Center hosted by the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez, from December 2014 to January 2017.
Part of the book: Ferroelectrics and Their Applications