Electrochemical muscles: Micromachining fingers and corkscrews

Authors

  • Dr. Elisabeth Smela,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Applied Physics, Department of Physics, Linköping University, S-581 83, Linköping (Sweden)
    • Laboratory of Applied Physics, Department of Physics, Linköping University, S-581 83, Linköping (Sweden)
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  • Dr. Olle Inganäs,

    1. Laboratory of Applied Physics, Department of Physics, Linköping University, S-581 83, Linköping (Sweden)
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  • Dr. Qibing Pei,

    1. Laboratory of Applied Physics, Department of Physics, Linköping University, S-581 83, Linköping (Sweden)
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  • Ingemar Lundström

    1. Laboratory of Applied Physics, Department of Physics, Linköping University, S-581 83, Linköping (Sweden)
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  • Financial support from the Swedish Board for Technical Development through the Micronics Program is gratefully acknowledged. Eva Hedborg is also warmly thanked for performing the evaporations.

Abstract

Millimeter-scale polymer “fingers” are reported, in which the volume changes of the conjugated polymer polypyrrole that occur in response to electrochemical reduction or oxidation are used to create electrically controlled mechanical actuators. The short bilayer gold and polypyrrole fingers in the Figure can be made to curl by reducing the polypyrrole. The primitive fabrication technique used to make these fingers points the way to the microminiaturization of these artificial muscles.

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