Synthesis and characterization of polypyrrole composite actuator for jellyfish unmanned undersea vehicle

Yonas Tadesse, Jaclyn Brennan, Colin Smith, Timothy E. Long, Shashank Priya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


In this paper, we investigated two geometries of conductive polymer-metal composite actuators: stripe and axial. The stripe actuator design consisted of gold coated poly(vinylidene difluoride) (PVDF) membrane with polypyrrole film grown potentiodynamically on top and bottom in sandwich structure. For axial type actuator, a gold coated core substrate was used which can be easily dissolved after polymerization of pyrrole. Synthesis of all samples was conducted using cyclic voltammometry technique. Results indicate that axial type actuator consisting of 0.25 M Pyrrole, 0.10 M TBAP and 0.5 M KCl in aqueous solution exhibits strain up to 6% and 18 kPa blocking stress for applied potential of 6V DC after 80 sec stimulation time. The axial type of actuator also exhibits rotary motion under DC voltage in electrolytic media. Experimental data was used to establish stress-strain and energy density-time response relationships. The stripe actuator with dimensions of 20mm length, 5mm width and 63μm thickness exhibited 2.8 mm transversal deflection at 7V and 0.2 Hz. Potential applications of conducting polymer based actuators include biometric jellyfish and expressive robotic head.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 8 2010Mar 11 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Composite
  • Conducting polymer
  • Jellyfish
  • PPy actuator
  • Robotic face
  • stress -strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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