Conjugated polymers are emerging actuation materials for biomimetic robots and biomedical devices. Most previous research has been focused on the configurations of cantilever beams and linear extenders. However, the diaphragm configuration is needed in many potential applications, such as micro pumps for drug delivery and chemical/ biological analysis. In this paper the design of a conjugated polymer pumping diaphragm is investigated theoretically and experimentally. A petal-shape design is proposed to alleviate the edge constrains. Transfer function models from the actuation voltage to the diaphragm curvature and to the flow rate are obtained. Experiments are conducted to verify the effectiveness of the models. The transfer function models facilitate design optimization and the use of feedback control tools in dealing with the complicated behavior of conjugated polymer actuators.

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