Enhanced functional properties of soft polymer–ceramic composites by swift heavy ion irradiation†
The physical and chemical properties of soft polymer–ceramic composites with 50 MeV swift heavy, Li3+ ion irradiation were studied. A solution-casting technique was employed to synthesize free standing, flexible composite films of ferroelectric polymer PVDF and ferroelectric ceramic BNBT mixtures with 0–3 connectivity. However, only 35 wt% ceramic was chosen for the study as it showed the highest dielectric constant and enhanced ferroelectric properties without irradiation. The effects of ion irradiation on the structural, microstructural, morphological, dielectric and ferroelectric properties of this particular composition were systematically investigated and conclusions were drawn. The mechanism for the enhancement of the electroactive β-phase due to the swift heavy ion irradiation was discussed and the enhancement was well correlated with its ferroelectric and dielectric properties.