Effect of the electrolyte concentration and substrate on conducting polymer actuators

Langmuir. 2014 Apr 8;30(13):3894-904. doi: 10.1021/la404353z. Epub 2014 Mar 24.


The effect of the electrolyte concentration (NaCl aqueous electrolyte) on the dimensional variations of films of polypyrrole doped with dodecylbenzenesulfonate PPy(DBS) on Pt and Au wires was studied. Any parallel reaction that occurs during the redox polymeric reaction that drives the mechanical actuation, as detected from the coulovoltammetric responses, was avoided by using Pt wires as substrate and controlling the potential limits, thus significantly increasing the actuator lifetime. The NaCl concentration of the electrolyte, when studied by cyclic voltammetry or chronoamperometry, has a strong effect on the performance as well. A maximum expansion was achieved in 0.3 M aqueous solution. The consumed oxidation and reduction charges control the fully reversible dimensional variations: PPy(DBS) films are faradaic polymeric motors. Parallel to the faradaic exchange of the cations, osmotic, electrophoretic, and structural changes play an important role for the water exchange and volume change of PPy(DBS).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benzenesulfonates / chemistry*
  • Electrochemical Techniques
  • Electrolytes
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Pyrroles / chemistry*
  • Sodium Chloride / chemistry*
  • Static Electricity
  • Surface Properties
  • Water / chemistry*


  • Benzenesulfonates
  • Electrolytes
  • Polymers
  • Pyrroles
  • Water
  • polypyrrole
  • Sodium Chloride
  • dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid