Zwitterionic Electroactive Polymer Actuators
Final rept. Oct 1999-Dec 2001
PHYSICAL SCIENCES INC ANDOVER MA
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Physical Sciences Inc. has developed an electroactive polymer-based material that undergoes a reversible conformational transition upon electrochemical reductionoxidation. The enabling technology is a zwitterionic polyaniline derivative in which generation of - charge pairs upon oxidation provides significant conformational distortion along the polymer backbone, and a concomitant change in free volume. This novel actuation mechanism, analogous to that observed in lightly-crosslinked sulfonate gels, was confirmed using circular dichroism spectroscopy of thin supported polymer films. Despite our success in proving the validity of this novel actuation mechanism, the mechanical properties of zwitterionic polyanilines were not suited to the fabrication of polymeric actuators. Molecular mechanics calculations indicated that it may be possible to extended the zwitterionic actuation mechanism to other classes of electroactive polymers. This conjecture will be tested in the Option 1 portion of our proposed effort.
- Polymer Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment