One of the challenges of modern science is the development of actuators able to sense working conditions while actuation, mimicking the way in which biological organs work. Actuation of those organs includes nervous (electric) pulses dense reactive gels, chemical reactions exchange of ions and solvent. For that purpose, conducting polymers are being widely studied. In this work the properties of self-supported films of the polypyrrole:polyvinilsulfate (PPy/PVS) blend polymer were assessed. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) studies show how during reduction / oxidation the polymer exchanges cations when immersed in a NaClO4 aqueous solution, revealing free positive charges in the electrolytic solution as the driving agents leading to the swelling/shrinking of the polymer. Eventually it is the phenomenon responsible of the actuation of the polymeric motors. Submitting the system to consecutive potential sweeps shows the reaction is really sensing the scan rate used in each cycle revealing that while actuating the system is actually sensing the electrochemical working conditions.
Victor H. Pascual, Toribio F. Otero, and Johanna Schumacher, "Properties of polypyrrole polyvinilsulfate films for dual actuator sensing systems," Proc. SPIE 10163, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017, 101630D (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 27, 2017; Published: 17 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2259913.
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