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Evaluation of piezoelectric PVDF polymers for use in space environments. II. Effects of atomic oxygen and vacuum UV exposure

John Wiley & Sons
Publication Date
  • 030301 Chemical Characterisation Of Materials
  • 091200 Materials Engineering
  • Atomic Oxygen
  • Space Environment
  • Vacuum Ultraviolet Radiation
  • Vinylidene Fluoride
  • Physics


The effects of atomic oxygen (AO) and vacuum UV radiation simulating low Earth orbit conditions on two commercially available piezoelectric polymer films, poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) P(VDF-TrFE), have been studied. Surface erosion and pattern development are significant for both polymers. Erosion yields were determined as 2.8 � 10�24 cm3/atom for PVDF and 2.5 � 10�24 cm3/atom for P(VDF-TrFE). The piezoelectric properties of the residual material of both polymers were largely unchanged after exposure, although a slight shift in the Curie transition of the P(VDF-TrFE) was observed. A lightly cross-linked network was formed in the copolymer presumably because of penetrating vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation, while the homopolymer remained uncross-linked. These differences were attributed to varying degrees of crystallinity and potentially greater absorption, and hence damage, of VUV radiation in P(VDFTrFE) compared with PVDF.

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