%0 Journal Article %J Synth. Met. (Switzerland) %D 2000 %T Fast contracting polypyrrole actuators %A Madden, J D %A Cush, R A %A Kanigan, T S %A Hunter, I W %K conducting polymers;electrolytes;microactuators;polymer structure; %P 185 - 92 %U http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0379-6779(00)00195-8 %V 113 %X Conducting polymer-based actuators are capable of producing at least 10 times more force for a given cross-sectional area (active stress) than skeletal muscle, and potentially 1000 times more, with strains typically between 1% and 10%. Low operating voltages make them particularly attractive for use in micro-electromechanical systems, in place of electrostatic and piezoelectric actuators. A drawback of conducting polymer actuators is their relatively slow speed, and hence low power-to-mass ratio. In this paper, shaped voltage pulses are applied to generate strain rates of up to 3% s-1, with peak power to mass ratios of 39 Wkg-1 of polymer, nearly matching mammalian skeletal muscle. Results are obtained from polypyrrole linear and bilayer actuators and employ both liquid and gel electrolytes %Z polypyrrole;conducting polymer;fast contracting actuators;operating voltages;microelectromechanical system;power-to-mass ratio;strain rates;electrolytes; %9 article