In the present investigations, we have fabricated the electromechanical actuators using conducting Polyaniline and Cellophane paper. The actuation behaviour of two types of paper actuators namely bi-layer and tri-layer in air medium are presented in this paper. The electro generation of polyaniline was carried out in propylene carbonate medium in the presence of dichloro acetic acid (DCA). The displacement in tri-layer devices, are more than that of bi-layer counter parts. The explanation towards this type of actuation behavior is given. Actuation behavioral studies were mainly focused on the effect of various dopant ions namely Cl-, ClO4-, BF4- and PF6-. The effect of varying film thickness and change in relative humidity are also addressed in this communication. The possible working mechanism has been discussed.
The construction of electromechanical actuator has been achieved by using the conducting polypyrrole films deposition onto a gold-coated cellophane paper. This is probably the first report of this type of paper actuator. The conducting polypyrrole was electro-generated using either galvanostatic or potentiostatic conditions at 0.5 mA/cm2 current density or 0.7 volts applied potential. The two types of actuators were constructed namely: 1.Ppy/Cellophane bilayer 2. Ppy/ Cellophane paper /Ppy trilayer using electrochemical technique. These actuators showed a reversible and reproducible displacement in acetonitrile solution containing LiClO4 (1M). The maximum displacement of 9.1 mm was recorded for tri-layer device and 3.5 mm for bi-layer device in 1M LiClO4 acetonitrile solutions. The prepared actuator devices were investigated for their mechanical actuation in air medium. The actuation in air is comparatively less than in solution actuation, but still it showed significant movement in air also. The results obtained in acetonitrile solution containing 1M LiClO4 shows that the actuator requires very low excitation voltages of 0.2 MV m-1 at 0.5 Hz frequencies. The effect of humidity on the actuation properties was addressed. The humidity measurement was carried out between 60% to 95% humidity with the help of humidity-temperature controlled chamber. The resonating frequency of 3 Hz at 6 volts had shown 1.8 mm displacement at 95% humidity for gold-coated cellophane sample without polypyrrole.