Publication Details

Zheng, W., Alici, G., Clingan, P. R., Munro, B., Spinks, G. M., Steele, J. R. & Wallace, G. G. (2013). Polypyrrole stretchable actuators. Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics, 51 (1), 57-63.


Here, we report a simple way to prepare stretchable polypyrrole (PPy)-based actuator materials that can be operated over a wide dynamic strain range and generate useable actuation displacements and pressures. The stretchable actuators were prepared as a laminated composite of PPy and a gold-coated roughened rubber sheet. By manipulating the corrugated surface of the rubber substrate, the stretchability of PPy was greatly improved. Gold-coated rubbers could be stretched to 30 percent without significant change in electrical resistance. The corrugated PPy/gold/rubber laminates successfully showed - 1 percents of actuation strain even when prestretched to 24 percent. The actuation strains were smaller than for similar free-standing PPy films and a detailed analysis of the effects of corrugation and of the rubber substrate are presented to predict actuation strain under various prestretch strains.

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