Photoactive Nanocomposite Coatings for Multi-modal Sensing
- Funding agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)
- Grant number: CMMI-SSS 1031754
- Grant title: Bio-Inspired Sensing using Optoelectronic Nanocomposites (BISON)
- Collaborators: none
- Graduate students: Donghyeon Ryu; Long Wang; Frederick Meyers; Bo Mi Lee
This objective of this research is to employ a revolutionary sensor design paradigm inspired by the natural photosynthesis process of plants/algae. The proposed BISON sensing platform utilizes specific wavelengths of light or photonic energy to generate photocurrent directly correlated to structural strain for structural monitoring applications (Figure 1). Phase I of this study focuses on nanocomposite fabrication and laboratory-based sensing performance characterization. Instead of using them as point sensors, Phase II of this research integrates the BISON coatings with an inverse spatial mapping algorithm for achieving a truly distributed sensor capable of directly measuring 2D structural strain fields. Upon experimental validation of the sensor’s capabilities to detect and monitor non-uniform strain fields, cracks, and impact damage, Phase III focuses on large-scale structural testing and field validation. The research outcomes will have potential for advancing the technological state-of-art and scientific knowledge in areas such as nanocomposites, optoelectronics, sensors, inverse algorithms, and structural health monitoring. The BISON sensing system can also enhance civil infrastructure safety and advance condition-based health monitoring techniques. A detailed education and outreach plan is also included to broaden the participation of under-represented students, while the outcomes of this research will be incorporated in current and new undergrad/grad engineering courses.