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15 April 2016 Photopolymerization of 3D conductive polypyrrole structures via digital light processing
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The intrinsically conductive polymer polypyrrole is conventionally synthesized as monolithic films that exhibit significant actuation strains when subjected to an applied electric potential. Though numerous linear and bending actuators based on polypyrrole films have been investigated, the limitations inherent to planar film geometries inhibit the realization of more complex behaviours. Hence, three-dimensional polypyrrole structures are sought to greatly expand the potential applications for conductive polymer actuators. This research aims to develop a novel additive manufacturing method for the fabrication of three-dimensional structures of conductive polypyrrole. In this investigation, radiation-curing techniques are employed by means of digital light processing (DLP) technology. DLP is an additive manufacturing technique where programmed light patterns emitted from a dedicated source are used to selectively cure a specially formulated polymer resin. Successive curing operations lead to a layered 3D structure into which fine features may be incorporated. Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) is subsequently employed to examine the unique microstructural features of the resultant 3D printed polymer morphology in order to elucidate the nature of the conductivity. These polymer microstructures are highly desirable since actuation response times are highly dependent on ion transport distances, and hence the ability to fabricate fine features offers a potential mechanism to improve actuator performance.
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Aaron D. Price "Photopolymerization of 3D conductive polypyrrole structures via digital light processing", Proc. SPIE 9798, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2016, 97981A (15 April 2016);

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