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Polymer/Carbon Spheres Composites for Device Applications

Author(s) with affiliations: 

Idalia Ramos, University of Puerto Rico at Humacao

Intellectual Merit: Carbon-based materials have attracted scientific interest due to their promise to revolutionize the electronics industry. Carbon Spheres (CS) were produced via hydrothermal carbonization of sucrose. A Schottky diode was fabricated using a composite of the highly conductive CS and the polymer PEO (polyethylene oxide). The diode was tested as a half wave rectifier. The simple design and fabrication, and complete exposure of the carbon material to the ambient make these diodes excellent candidates for use in active electronic components including gas/light sensors.

PREM Collaborators: Students: Cesar Nieves, Luis Martínez, José L. Pérez-Gordillo. Faculty: Idalia Ramos, Nicholas Pinto, Natalya Zimbovskaya, Margarita Ortiz (UPRH) and Jorge Santiago (PENN). 

Broader Impacts: This is the first study demonstrating real applications using conducting carbon spheres fabricated via an easy, rapid, cheap, and green technique.

Hispanic undergraduate students (Cesar Nieves and Luis Martínez,) and High School student, José L. Pérez-Gordillo, participated in all stages of the research. These included, a theoretical study of electronic transport in CS/PEO, implementation of a gas sensor for the detection of aliphatic alcohol vapors, and preparation and characterization of a second device using CS and the conducting polymer (PANi-polyaniline). The results were presented by the students in two international conferences (2016 IMRC in Cancún, México and 2016 Ibersensor in Valparaiso, Chile), and  the International Science Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles, CA (2017). 


Nieves, C. et. al. J. Appl. Phys. 120, 014302 (2016).
Nieves, C. et. al. J. Mater. Sci: Mater Electron 27, 13044 (2016).

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