Physico-mechanical, dielectric, and piezoelectric properties of PVDF electrospun mats containing silver nanoparticles.
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Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) is a piezoelectric material with outstanding physical and mechanical properties. The piezoelectric properties depend on the β-phase content of this polymer, while the physical and mechanical properties depend on the morphology and degree of crystallinity of the material. Silver has antibacterial effects, and silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) have large surface areas rich in electrons. In this paper, we produced electrospun PVDF fibrous mats that contained different contents of Ag-NPs between 0% and 1.0%. The β-content in PVDF was found to increase by about 8% for Ag-NPs content of 0.4–0.6%. The electrospun fiber mats had a higher β-crystalline content, nano-pores were visible on the fiber surfaces, and the tensile strength and thermal stability were improved. Dielectric analysis indicated weak interfacial adhesion between the PVDF and Ag-NPs. Good piezoelectric response was observed in the electrospun fibers containing 0.4% AgNPs, which shows a good correlation between the β-crystalline phase content of the composites and its energy-harvesting application