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Sensors 2010, 10(4), 2638-2674; doi:10.3390/s100402638

Sensing and Tactile Artificial Muscles from Reactive Materials

Center for Electrochemistry and Intelligent Materials (CEMI), Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, ETSII, E- 30203, Cartagena, Spain
Materials Department, Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán (CICY), C.P. 97200 Mérida, Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 January 2010 / Revised: 17 February 2010 / Accepted: 2 March 2010 / Published: 25 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Actuators)


Films of conducting polymers can be oxidized and reduced in a reversible way. Any intermediate oxidation state determines an electrochemical equilibrium. Chemical or physical variables acting on the film may modify the equilibrium potential, so that the film acts as a sensor of the variable. The working potential of polypyrrole/DBSA (Dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid) films, oxidized or reduced under constant currents, changes as a function of the working conditions: electrolyte concentration, temperature or mechanical stress. During oxidation, the reactive material is a sensor of the ambient, the consumed electrical energy being the sensing magnitude. Devices based on any of the electrochemical properties of conducting polymers must act simultaneously as sensors of the working conditions. Artificial muscles, as electrochemical actuators constituted by reactive materials, respond to the ambient conditions during actuation. In this way, they can be used as actuators, sensing the surrounding conditions during actuation. Actuating and sensing signals are simultaneously included by the same two connecting wires.
Keywords: conducting polymers; reactive materials; sensors; actuators; artificial muscles; tactile muscles; sensing actuators conducting polymers; reactive materials; sensors; actuators; artificial muscles; tactile muscles; sensing actuators
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Conzuelo, L.V.; Arias-Pardilla, J.; Cauich-Rodríguez, J.V.; Smit, M.A.; Otero, T.F. Sensing and Tactile Artificial Muscles from Reactive Materials. Sensors 2010, 10, 2638-2674.

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