11 July 2002 Thiophene-based conducting polymer molecular actuators
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Traditional conducting polymer actuators such as polypyrrole offer tremendous active stress at low actuation voltages but with moderate strain, strain-rate and efficiency. We report the synthesis of novel thiophene based conducting polymer molecular actuators, exhibiting electrically triggered molecular conformational transitions. In this new class of materials, actuation is the result of conformational rearrangement of the polymer backbone at the molecular level and is not simply due to ion intercalation in the bulk polymer chain upon electrochemical activation. Molecular actuation mechanisms results from (pi) $min(pi) stacking of thiophene oligomers upon oxidation, producing a reversible molecular displacement which is expected to lead to surprising material properties such as electrically controllable porosity and large strains. The hypothesis of active molecular conformational changes is supported by in situ electrochemical data. Single molecule techniques are considered for molecular actuator characterization. Mechanical properties of these new materials are currently being assessed.
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Patrick A. Anquetil, Patrick A. Anquetil, Hsiao-hua Yu, Hsiao-hua Yu, John David Madden, John David Madden, Peter Geoffrey Madden, Peter Geoffrey Madden, Timothy M. Swager, Timothy M. Swager, Ian Warwick Hunter, Ian Warwick Hunter, } "Thiophene-based conducting polymer molecular actuators", Proc. SPIE 4695, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (11 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.475194; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.475194

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