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

Yonas Tadesse*, Jaclyn Brennan, Colin Smith, Timothy Edward Long, Shashank Priya

*Corresponding author for this work

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

9 Citations (Scopus)


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
Title of host publicationElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun 14
Externally publishedYes
EventElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 2010 Mar 82010 Mar 11


OtherElectroactive 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

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


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