Novel Transparent PMMA Composites for Optical Tagging

Report No. ARL-TR-5354
Authors: Jian H. Yu, Alex J. Hsieh, and Gregory C. Rutledge
Date/Pages: September 2010; 18 pages
Abstract: This report describes the success of a feasibility demonstration in making novel transparent poly(methyl methacrylate) PMMA composites with ultraviolet (UV)-dye-embedded electrospun fibers that have the ability to change color and transparency reversibly upon exposure to UV irradiation. A light scattering model for transparent fiber-modified polymer composites is used to guide the materials selection and fiber processing. The key to achieving optical clarity with reduced haze is to match closely the refractive indexes between the fiber and the matrix material, as well as to reduce the fiber diameter to well below the wavelength of visible light. In addition, the exploitation of dye-embedded electrospun fibers facilitates the design of desired fiber patterns, thus affording transparent PMMA composites with optical tagging capability.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2010