Wednesday, February 21, 2024 03:30PM
Amanda Koh

Amanda Koh, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Alabama


"Liquid metal polymer composites for stretchable dielectric materials: Fundamentals to application"




Soft polymer composites take advantage of the deformability of elastomers while incorporating new functionality from stimuli responsive fillers to impart field-responsive behavior.  Soft robotics and stretchable electronic devices particularly take advantage of new composite materials that can adapt and/or sense the environment while being less energy intensive, lighter, and generally safer than their rigid counterparts (e.g., silicon, copper, nickel, etc.).  While there are many strategies to create polymer and elastomer-based electronic materials, dispersions of room temperature liquid metals, specifically the eutectic alloy gallium-indium-tin, enables intrinsically soft and stretchable composites with metallic electrical behavior.  This talk will focus on work in the Koh Lab to characterize liquid metal polymer composite (LMPC) behavior primarily as a stretchable dielectric material.  Our work has demonstrated deformability of the composite beyond any similar rigid-filled polymer and permittivity values that compete with or exceed those of common capacitors.  We seek to connect our fundamental understanding of the unique junction of elastomer-ceramic (metal oxide)-metal that drives LMPC electromechanical behavior.  We then move towards application in our understanding of long term LMPC dielectric performance, comprehensive deformation behavior, and as functional elements of conformable sensors.  I will also briefly mention other work that we do in the Koh Lab including improving performance and stability of magnetorheological fluids (composites of magnetic particles and other fillers in a non-conductive fluid) and novel tailoring of porous polymer adsorbents for water treatment (multi-component composites beginning as high internal phase emulsions).




Dr. Amanda Koh is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.  She joined UA in 2018 after completing her postdoctoral fellowship at the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.  Dr. Koh received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.  In addition to her research and mentoring the excellent graduate students in her lab, Dr. Koh is passionate about improving STEM opportunities for women working with groups like Girl Scouts and SWE as well as improving STEM communication between professionals and the community.