University of Otago, New Zealand

Chemistry

Te Tari Hua-Ruanuku

Supramolecular and Polymer group

Actuating Gels

By using redox active components in a gel, it is possible to control the swelling of the gel. However this has only been done before in thin films. By using carbon nanotubes to increase conductivity, and a spring to give a mechanical bias, it is possible to get linear actuation up to 40% in a bulk sample


Device (black) in oxidized state


After reduction (-0.7 V)


The Chemistry:

Almost any redox active monomer can be used. To date we have tried quinones, nitroxides and ferrocene gels

Synthesis of quinone containing monomer
Synthesis of quinone containing monomer