Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Price, Aaron D.


Conjugated polymers are a class of electromechanically active materials that can produce motion in response to an electric potential. This motion can be harnessed to perform mechanical work, and therefore these materials are particularly well suited for use as sensors and actuators in microelectromechanical systems. Conventional methods to fabricate conjugated polymer actuators result in planar morphologies that limit fabricated devices to simplistic linear or bending actuation modes. To overcome this limitation, this work develops a conjugated polymer formulation and associated additive manufacturing method capable of realizing three-dimensional conductive polymer structures. A light-based additive manufacturing technique known as vat polymerization is employed due to its ability to fabricate complex microscale features. A specially-formulated photosensitive polypyrrole resin was optimized for the production of microscale 3D structures. The transduction properties of the photosensitive polymer formulation were characterized to evaluate the material's application in mechanical sensing and actuation technologies.