3 years ago

Polypyrrole Actuator Based on Electrospun Microribbons

Polypyrrole Actuator Based on Electrospun Microribbons
Victor C. Diculescu, Ionut Enculescu, Horia Iovu, Alexandru Evanghelidis, Mihaela Beregoi
The development of soft actuators by using inexpensive raw materials and straightforward fabrication techniques, aiming at creating and developing muscle like micromanipulators, represents an important challenge nowadays. Providing such devices with biomimetic qualities, for example, sensing different external stimuli, adds even more complexity to the task. We developed electroactive polymer-coated microribbons that undergo conformational changes in response to external physical and chemical parameters. These were prepared following three simple steps. During the first step nylon-6/6 microribbons were fabricated by electrospinning. In a second step the microribbons were one side coated with a metallic layer. Finally, a conducting layer of polypyrrole was added by means of electrochemical deposition. Strips of polypyrrole-coated aligned microribbon meshes were tested as actuators responding to current, pH, and temperature. The electrochemical activity of the microstructured actuators was investigated by recording cyclic voltammograms. Chronopontentiograms for specific current, pH, and temperature values were obtained in electrolytes with different compositions. It was shown that, upon variation of the external stimulus, the actuator undergoes conformational changes due to the reduction processes of the polypyrrole layer. The ability of the actuator to hold and release thin wires, and to collect polystyrene microspheres from the bottom of the electrochemical cell, was also investigated.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b13196

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b13196

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