Microfabricating Conjugated Polymer Actuators

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Science  24 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5496, pp. 1540-1545
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5496.1540

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Conjugated polymer actuators can be operated in aqueous media, which makes them attractive for laboratories-on-a-chip and applications under physiological conditions. One of the most stable conjugated polymers under these conditions is polypyrrole, which can be patterned by means of standard photolithography. Polypyrrole-gold bilayer actuators that bend out of the plane of the wafer have been microfabricated in our laboratory. These can be used to move and position other microcomponents. Here we review the current status of these microactuators, outlining the methods used to fabricate them. We describe the devices that have been demonstrated as well as some potential future applications.

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