Polymerization of 3D Conductive Polypyrrole Structures via Digital Light Processing

Tech ID: TP-W-BG-038

A conjugated polymer formulation and associated additive manufacturing method for three-dimensional conductive polymer structures.


Smart materials possess unique properties that allow them the convert energy from one form to another through intrinsic material properties. 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 (MEMS). Conventional methods to fabricate conjugated polymer actuators result in planar morphologies that limit fabricated devices to simplistic linear or bending actuation modes.

Technology Overview

Researchers from Western University have developed 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 projection micro-stereolithography is employed due to its ability to fabricate complex microscale features. A specially-formulated photosensitive polypyrrole resin was optimized for the production of fine 3D structures while maximizing the smart material performance. The fabrication system and photosensitive polymer formulation were applied to the fabrication of a novel active microfluidic device.

The Advantage of the Technology

Custom integration of the DLP fabrication technique with the hybrid polymer formulation help overcome significant barriers and enables the fabrication of complex 3D conductive polymer structures, which otherwise was limited.

Potential Applications

Conjugated polymers can be used in mechanical actuation technologies due to ion driven volumetric expansion and contraction as well as sensing technologies which utilizes a change in their electrical conductivity in response to external stimuli.

IP Status

  • PCT Application filed
  • Development and commercial partners
  • Available for licensing

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