Synthesis and Characterization of Material Systems for 3D Printed Smart Structures

Hilda Fontes, University of Texas at El Paso


The silica hollow spheres have demonstrated excellent results in multiple applications such as light-weight composites, and optical applications as a glass coating. This material also exhibits excellent thermal, shock impact, and hydrophilic properties extremely useful for industrial applications. However, a controllable size of the particle is desired to further increase the number of applications of the silica hollow spheres. This thesis aims a method to fabricate silica hollow spheres in a single step with a controlled diameter size. A study was developed to demonstrate the particle size change when adjusting the molecular weight of the medium by using different alcohol solvents. A 70% and 58% size increase in the PS core and hollow sphere, respectively, were successfully obtained during this research work. The fabricated silica hollow spheres are expected to be used as a photovoltaic cell coating due to their hydrophilic behavior. The material is expected to be easily printed via paste extrusion and exhibit high resistant mechanical and thermal properties.

Subject Area

Materials science

Recommended Citation

Fontes, Hilda, "Synthesis and Characterization of Material Systems for 3D Printed Smart Structures" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI27999578.