Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Sylvia W. Thomas


Aerospace, Antimony, Cobalt, Laser Interaction, Tin


Recent trends in composite research include the development of structural materials with multiple functionalities. In new studies, novel materials are being designed, developed, modified, and implemented into composite designs. Typically, an increase in functionality requires additional material phases within one system. The presence of excessive phases can result in deterioration of individual or overall properties. True multi-functional materials must maintain all properties at or above the minimum operating limit. In this project, samples of antimony and cobalt-doped tin oxide (ATO(Co2O3)) sol-gel solutions are used to coat carbon fibers and are heat treated at a temperature range of 200 - 500 °C. Results from this research are used to model the implementation of sol-gel coatings into carbon fiber reinforced multifunctional composite systems. This research presents a novel thermo-responsive sol-gel/ (dopant) combination and evaluation of the actuating responses (reflectivity and surface heat dissipation) due to various heat treatment temperatures. While ATO is a well-known transparent conductive material, the implementation of ATO on carbon fibers for infrared thermal reflectivity has not been examined. These coatings serve as actuators capable of reflecting thermal infrared radiation in the near infrared wavelengths of 0.7-1.2 μm. By altering the level of Co2O3 and heat treatment temperatures, optimal optical properties are obtained. While scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is used for imaging, electron diffraction

spectroscopy (EDS) is used to verify the compounds present in the coatings. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy was performed to analyze the chemical bonds and reflectivity in the infrared spectra after the heat treatments. Total reflection and angle-dependent reflectivity measurements were performed on the coatings in the wavelengths of 0.7-2 μm. Laser induced damage threshold testing was done to investigate the dielectric breakdown and used to calculate surface temperatures.