Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2011

Capstone Advisor

Patrick T. Mather

Honors Reader

George C. Martin

Capstone Major

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering

Capstone College

Engineering and Computer Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Biochemical and Biomolecular Engineering | Chemical Engineering


In this report, we summarize the results of research related to development of an electrically-triggered reversible-adhesive material. The material is made of an epoxy comprised of diglcidyl ether of bisphenol-A (DGEBA) and 4,4’-diaminodiphenylsulfone (DDS). By combining the epoxy with PCL a “bricks and mortar” morphology is created with reversible adhesion properties. A phenomenon known as differential expansive bleeding (DEB) is the driving force of the self-healing and reversible-adhesion. The epoxy/PCL was embedded within electrically conductive carbon nanofibers (CNF) created from electrospun poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN). The material’s high conductivity allowed convenient heating with a power source. Initial tests revealed a lack of adhesion development, counter to our expectation. After the tests failed to create adhesion, the morphology of the sample was scrutinized. Experiments showed that the morphology of the epoxy/PCL within the fibers is distinct from the morphology in the bulk phase. Correlated with this microstructural difference was a lack of DEB, despite epoxy/PCL phase separation. It is argued that this lack of DEB is related to the much finer scale of phase separation, kinetically hampering PCL flow.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.