This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

3D printing of electroactive polymers




Wang, Yuyang

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Chemical Engineering

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Electroactive polymers (EAPs) can deform under the stimulation of electric field. EAPs have wide applications in fabricating actuators, artificial muscles, wearable displays, flexible supercapacitors, and batteries. However, the synthesis and fabrication of EAPs are restricted to the 2-dimentional fabrication methods. Using Digital Light Projection (DLP) 3D printing techniques can easily customize the dimensions of printed samples with high resolution and considerable complexity. Understanding the properties and chemistry of materials is essential but a great challenge to 3D print EAPs for target applications. Thus, this dissertation focuses on studying charged polymer electrolytes that have carboxyl groups and sulfonyl groups, printed by Digital Light Projection (DLP) technique, to be utilized as soft actuators and supercapacitors applications. Specifically, this research studied (1) the mechanisms of synthesizing crosslinked poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) through DLP techniques for designing ionic actuators that can work in liquid environments, (2) the mechanisms of 3D printing poly(acrylic acid-co-vinylimidazole) copolymers and air-working Ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) actuators, (3) the mechanisms of 3D printing ionic copolymers containing lithium salts for building flexible supercapacitors. More finding from each investigation will be further discussed in this dissertation.