Magnetoelectric microspheres based on piezoelectric poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and magnetostrictive CoFe2O4 (CFO), a novel morphology for polymer-based ME materials, have been developed by an electrospray process. The CFO nanoparticle content in the (3-7 mm diameter) microspheres reaches values up to 27 wt%, despite their concentration in the starting solution reaching values up to 70 wt%. Additionally, the inclusion of magnetostrictive nanoparticles into the polymer spheres has no relevant effect on the piezoelectric b-phase content (z60%), crystallinity (40%) and the onset degradation temperature (460-465 C) of the polymer matrix. The multiferroic microspheres show a maximum piezoelectric response |d33| z 30 pC N1, leading to a magnetoelectric response of D|d33| z 5 pC N1 obtained when a 220 mT DC magnetic field was applied. It is also shown that the interface between CFO nanoparticles and PVDF (from 0 to 55%) has a strong influence on the ME response of the microspheres. The simplicity and the scalability of the processing method suggest a large application potential of this novel magnetoelectric geometry in areas such as tissue engineering, sensors and actuators.
Goncalves, R., Martins, P., Correia, D. M., Sencadas, V., Vilas, J. L., Leon, L. M., Botelho, G. & Lanceros-Méndez, S. (2015). Development of magnetoelectric CoFe2O4 /poly(vinylidene fluoride) microspheres. RSC Advances: an international journal to further the chemical sciences, 5(45), 35852-35857.