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Polymeric Sensors and Actuators by Johannes Karl Fink

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Chapter 15

Actuators

An actuator typically is a laminate which is composed of (1):

1. A first electrode,
2. A second electrode, and
3. A polymer matrix including a polymer and an electrolytic material. The polymer matrix is disposed between the first electrode and a second electrode.

The polymer matrix is sometimes referred to as a solid electrolyte polymer layer. The first and the second electrode may be formed of a conductive polymer such as poly(pyrrole) (PPY), poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT), poly(aniline) (PANI), poly(acetylene), poly(p-phenylene), poly(thiophene), poly(p-phenylene vinylene), or poly(thienylene vinylene) (1). The basic design of an actuator is like that of a plate condenser, as shown in Figure 15.1.

Figure 15.1 Basic design of an actuator

The electrodes may be formed of a conductive polymer such as PPY, PEDOT, PANI, poly(acetylene), poly(p-phenylene), poly(thiophene), poly(p-phenylene vinylene), or poly(thienylene vinylene). The polymer may be a crosslinked poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF)-based polymer alone or in combination with a non-cross-linked PVDF-based polymer (1,2). The radical initiator includes dicumyl peroxide and dibenzoyl peroxide, with amine accelerators such as methylenediamine, ethylenediamine, isopropylethylenediamine, 1,3-phenylenediamine, 1,5-naphthalenediamine, or 2,4,4-trimethyl-1,6-hexanediamine.

The mechanistic bending ...

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