Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Karen Lozano

Second Advisor

Dr. Rogelio Benitez

Third Advisor

Dr. Arturo Fuentes


This study focuses on the development and characterization of nanofiber-based composites with the goal of developing flexible, lightweight, and cost effective thermoelectric and piezoelectric devices. The following materials were used in the development of the composites: polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) with polyaniline (PANI), polypyrrole (PPY), polyindole (PIN), polyanthranilic acid (PANA), polycarbazole (PCZ), polyacrylonitrile (PAN), functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT-COOH), and camphorsulfonic acid (CSA). Blends and in-situ polymerization techniques were utilized to increase the desired thermoelectric/piezoelectric response. Nanofiber systems were produced utilizing the Forcespinning® technique. The morphology, structure, electrochemical, thermal stability, thermoelectric, and piezoelectric performance was analyzed. All of the nanofiber PVDF/CP systems displayed higher piezoelectric performance than the pure PVDF nanofiber systems. The PVDF/PPY nanofiber system showed the highest piezoelectric performance of 15.56 V. Thermoelectric devices consisting of 1-17 modules were created, connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel. The maximum voltage output of the 17 modules thermoelectric device was 8.8 mV. The maximum power output obtained from the thermoelectric device was 15 nW with a figure of merit ZT of 0.0002.


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