Electroactive polymers are a class of materials capable of reallocating their shape in response to an electric field while also having the ability to harvest electrical energy when the materials are mechanically deformed. Electroactive polymers can therefore be used as sensors, actuators, and energy harvesters. The parameters for manufacturing flexible electroactive polymers are complex and rate limiting due to number of steps, their necessity, and time intensity of each step. Successful additive manufacturing processes for electroactive polymers will allow for scalability and flexibility beyond current limitations, advancing the field, opening additional manufacturing possibilities, and increasing output. The goal for this research was to use additive manufacturing techniques to print conductive and dielectric substrates for building flexible circuits and sensors. Printing flexible conductive layers and substrates together allows for added creativity in design and application.
National Science Foundation under grant CNS-1726865