Polyvinylidene fluoride

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Polyvinylidene fluoride
IUPAC name
poly(1,1-difluoroethylene) [1]
Other names
Polyvinylidene difluoride; poly(vinylene fluoride); Kynar; Hylar; Solef; Sygef
24937-79-9 YesY
MeSH polyvinylidene+fluoride
Appearance whitish or translucent solid
not soluble in water
2.1 D[2]
Related compounds
Related compounds
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
N verify (what is YesYN ?)
Infobox references

Polyvinylidene fluoride, or polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) is a highly non-reactive and pure thermoplastic fluoropolymer produced by the polymerization of vinylidene difluoride.

PVDF is a specialty plastic material in the fluoropolymer family; it is used generally in applications requiring the highest purity, strength, and resistance to solvents, acids, bases and heat and low smoke generation during a fire event. Compared to other fluoropolymers, it has an easier melt process because of its relatively low melting point of around 177 °C.

It has a low density (1.78 g/cm3) compared to the other fluoropolymers. It is available as piping products, sheet, tubing, films, plate and an insulator for premium wire. It can be injected, molded or welded and is commonly used in the chemical, semiconductor, medical and defense industries, as well as in lithium ion batteries. It is also available as a crosslinked closed cell foam, used increasingly in aviation and aerospace applications.

A fine powder grade, KYNAR 500 PVDF or HYLAR 5000 PVDF, is also used as the principal ingredient of high-end paints for metals. These PVDF paints have extremely good gloss and color retention, and they are in use on many prominent buildings around the world, e.g. the Petronas Towers in Malaysia and Taipei 101 in Taiwan, as well as on commercial and residential metal roofing.

PVDF membranes are used for western blots for immobilization of proteins, due to its non-specific affinity for amino acids.


PVDF is sold under a variety of brand names including KF (Kureha), Hylar (Solvay), Kynar (Arkema) and Solef (Solvay).


In 1969, strong piezoelectricity was observed in PVDF, with the piezoelectric coefficient of poled (placed under a strong electric field to induce a net dipole moment) thin films as large as 6–7 pC/N: 10 times larger than that observed in any other polymer.[3]

PVDF has a glass transition temperature (Tg) of about −35 °C and is typically 50–60% crystalline. To give the material its piezoelectric properties, it is mechanically stretched to orient the molecular chains and then poled under tension. PVDF exists in several forms: alpha (TGTG'), beta (TTTT), and gamma (TTTGTTTG') phases, depending on the chain conformations as trans (T) or gauche (G) linkages. When poled, PVDF is a ferroelectric polymer, exhibiting efficient piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties. These characteristics make it useful in sensor and battery applications. Thin films of PVDF are used in some newer thermal camera sensors.

Unlike other popular piezoelectric materials, such as PZT, PVDF has a negative d33 value. Physically, this means that PVDF will compress instead of expand or vice versa when exposed to the same electric field.


Arrangement of polyvinylidene fluoride molecules in a nanofibertransmission electron microscopy image.[4]

PVDF may be synthesized from the gaseous VDF monomer via a free radical (or controlled radical) polymerization process. This may be followed by processes such as melt casting, or processing from a solution (e.g. solution casting, spin coating, and film casting). Langmuir-Blodgett films have also been made. In the case of solution-based processing, typical solvents used include dimethylformamide as well as the more volatile butanone. In aqueous emulsion polymerization, the fluorosurfactant perfluorononanoic acid is used in anion form as a processing aid by solubilizing monomers.[5] For characterization of the molecular weight via gel permeation chromatography (also called size exclusion chromatography), solvents such as dimethyl sulfoxide or tetrahydrofuran may be used.

Processed materials are typically in the non-piezoelectric alpha phase. The material must either be stretched or annealed to obtain the piezoelectric beta phase. The exception to this is for PVDF thin films (thickness in the order of micrometres). Residual stresses between thin films and the substrates on which they are processed are great enough to cause the beta phase to form.

In order to obtain a piezoelectric response, the material must first be poled in a large electric field. Poling of the material typically requires an external field of above 30 MV/m. Thick films (typically >100 µm) must be heated during the poling process in order to achieve a large piezoelectric response. Thick films are usually heated to 70–100 °C during the poling process.

A quantitative defluorination process was described by mechanochemistry,[6] for safe eco-friendly PVDF waste processing.


Copolymers of PVDF are also used in piezoelectric and electrostrictive applications. One of the most commonly used copolymers is P(VDF-trifluoroethylene), usually available in ratios of about 50:50 wt% and 65:35 wt% (equivalent to about 56:44 mol% and 70:30 mol%). Another one is P(VDF-tetrafluoroethylene). They improve the piezoelectric response by improving the crystallinity of the material.

While the copolymers' unit structures are less polar than that of pure PVDF, the copolymers typically have a much higher crystallinity. This results in a larger piezoelectric response: d33 values for P(VDF-TFE) have been recorded to be as high as −38 pC/N[7] versus −33 pC/N in pure PVDF.[8]


Terpolymers of PVDF are the most promising one in terms of electromechanical induced strain. The most commonly used PVDF based terpolymers are P(VDF-TrFE-CTFE) and P(VDF-TrFE-CFE).,[9][10] This realxor based ferroelectric terpolymer is produced by random incorporation of the bulky third monomer (CTFE) into the polymer chain of P(VDF-TrFE) copolymer which is ferroelectric in nature. This random incorporation of CTFE in P(VDF-TrFE) copolymer disrupts the long range ordering of the ferroelectric polar phase resulting in the formation of nano-polar domains. When electric field is applied, the disordered nano-polar domains change their conformation to all-trans conformation which leads to large electrostrictive strain and high room temperature dielectric constant ~50.[11]


PVDF is commonly used as insulation on electrical wires, because of its combination of flexibility, low weight, low thermal conductivity, high chemical corrosion resistance, and heat resistance. Most of the narrow 30-gauge wire used in wire wrap circuit assembly and printed circuit board rework is PVDF-insulated. In this use the wire is generally referred to as "Kynar wire", from the trade name.

The piezoelectric properties of PVDF are used to advantage to manufacture tactile sensor arrays, inexpensive strain gauges and lightweight audio transducers. Piezoelectric panels made of PVDF are used on the Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter, a scientific instrument of the New Horizons space probe that measures dust density in the outer solar system.

PVDF is the standard binder material used in the production of composite electrodes for lithium ion batteries.[citation needed] 1–2% weight solution of PVDF dissolved in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) is mixed with an active lithium storage material such as graphite, silicon, tin, LiCoO2, LiMn2O4, or LiFePO4 and a conductive additive such as carbon black or carbon nanofibers. This slurry is cast onto a metallic current collector and the NMP is evaporated to form a composite or paste electrode. PVDF is used because it is chemically inert over the potential range used and does not react with the electrolyte or lithium.

In the biomedical sciences PVDF is used in immunoblotting as an artificial membrane, usually with 0.22 or 0.45 micrometres pore sizes, on which proteins are transferred using electricity (see western blotting). PVDF is resistant to solvents and, therefore, these membranes can be easily stripped and reused to look at other proteins, making it very convenient. PVDF membranes may be used in other biomedical applications as part of a membrane filtration device, often in the form of a syringe filter, or wheel filter. The various properties of this material such as heat resistance, resistance to chemicals, corrosion and low protein binding properties make this material valuable in the biomedical sciences for preparation of medications as a sterilizing filter, and as a filter to prepare samples for High Performance Liquid Chromatography and other advanced analytical techniques in which small amounts of particulate can damage sensitive and expensive equipment.

PVDF is used for specialty monofilament fishing lines, sold as fluorocarbon replacements for nylon monofilament. Optical density is lower than nylon, which makes the line less discernible. The surface is harder, so it is more resistant to abrasion and sharp fish teeth. It is also denser than nylon, making it sink faster.[12]

PVDF transducers have the advantage of being dynamically more suitable for modal testing applications than semi-conductor piezoresistive transducers, and more compliant for structural integration than piezoceramic transducers. For those reasons, the use of PVDF active sensors is a keystone for the development of future structural health monitoring methods, due to their low cost and compliance.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "poly(vinylene fluoride) (CHEBI:53250)". Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  2. ^ Zhang, Q. M., Bharti, V., Kavarnos, G., Schwartz, M. (Ed.), (2002). "Poly (Vinylidene Fluoride) (PVDF) and its Copolymers", Encyclopedia of Smart Materials, Volumes 1–2, John Wiley & Sons, 807–825.
  3. ^ Kawai, Heiji (1969). "The Piezoelectricity of Poly (vinylidene Fluoride)". Japanese Journal of Applied Physics 8 (7): 975. doi:10.1143/JJAP.8.975. 
  4. ^ Lolla, Dinesh; Gorse, Joseph; Kisielowski, Christian; Miao, Jiayuan; Taylor, Philip L.; Chase, George G.; Reneker, Darrell H. (2015). "Polyvinylidene fluoride molecules in nanofibers, imaged at atomic scale by aberration corrected electron microscopy". Nanoscale. doi:10.1039/C5NR01619C. 
  5. ^ Prevedouros K, Cousins IT, Buck RC, Korzeniowski SH (January 2006). "Sources, fate and transport of perfluorocarboxylates". Environ Sci Technol. 40 (1): 32–44. doi:10.1021/es0512475. PMID 16433330. 
  6. ^ Zhang, Qiwu; Lu, Jinfeng; Saito, Fumio; Baron, Michel (2001). "Mechanochemical solid-phase reaction between polyvinylidene fluoride and sodium hydroxide". Journal of Applied Polymer Science 81 (9): 2249. doi:10.1002/app.1663. 
  7. ^ Omote, Kenji; Ohigashi, Hiroji; Koga, Keiko (1997). "Temperature dependence of elastic, dielectric, and piezoelectric properties of "single crystalline films of vinylidene fluoride trifluoroethylene copolymer". Journal of Applied Physics 81 (6): 2760. doi:10.1063/1.364300. 
  8. ^ Nix, E. L.; Ward, I. M. (1986). "The measurement of the shear piezoelectric coefficients of polyvinylidene fluoride". Ferroelectrics 67: 137. doi:10.1080/00150198608245016. 
  9. ^ Appl. Phys. Lett. 78, 2360 (2001)
  10. ^ Macromolecules, 2007, 40 (7), pp 2371–2379
  11. ^ Proc. SPIE 9432, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2015, 943206 (April 1, 2015)
  12. ^ Seaguar history — Kureha America, Inc. manufacturer's site
  13. ^ Guzman, E.; Cugnoni, J; Gmür, T (2013). "Survivability of integrated PVDF film sensors to accelerated ageing conditions in aeronautical/aerospace structures". Smart Mater Struct 22 (6): 065020. doi:10.1088/0964-1726/22/6/065020. 

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