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Vapor phase polymerization of PEDOT on silicone rubber as flexible large strain sensor

1 Department Mechanical Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand;
2 Department of Materials Engineering, ENSICAEN, CAEN, France

Topical Section: Responsive, Active and Smart materials

This paper presents a flexible large strain sensor made from ethylenedioxythiophene deposited on silicone rubber (Ecoflex® 00-30) via vacuum assisted vapor phase polymerization (VPP) process. EDOT was used due to its stability when exposed to the atmosphere. VPP is a very simple process requiring only a vacuum bell jar and a vacuum pump. Ferrite chloride (FeCl3) dissolved in tethrahydrofuran was used as the oxidant to make the resulting poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) conductive. THF was used because it swells Ecoflex® for better infusion of oxidant and PEDOT adherence. The sensor performs reliably up to 80% strain with a gauge factor of ~2.4 and small hysteresis.
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