Professor Song Wins NSF Award

Geb Thomas

The National Science Foundation has announced that it will fund a collaborative project between Professor Song here in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Dr. Lei Chen at Mississippi State University. The project, "Tuning Properties of Bi-Continuous Piezoelectric Composites via Additive Manufacturing" will receive $460,000, roughly split between the two teams, over the next 3 years .

This project will advance fundamental understanding of process-structure-property relationships of additive manufacturing of bi-continuous piezoelectric composites, an emerging flexible material with potentially high efficiency in converting mechanical energy into electrical signals. A bi-continuous piezoelectric composite is composed of a ceramic phase and a polymer phase, continuously interconnected in three dimensions (3D). Until now, bi-continuous piezoelectric composites can only be achieved in the form of an open-porosity ceramic structure impregnated by polymers, whose properties cannot be controlled accurately and reliably. By utilizing additive manufacturing methods, this research will provide new knowledge on how properties of a bi-continuous piezoelectric composite can be accurately tuned through careful control of its micro- and meso-structure. This new knowledge will enable the development of next-generation piezoelectric devices that are low cost and lightweight, with a wide range operating temperatures, high mechanical flexibility and advanced electromechanical performance. This award will also enhance the infrastructure for research and education in the states of Iowa and Mississippi through activities designed to attract students from underrepresented groups and K-12 students to STEM disciplines.