Development and characterization of high-strain electrodes
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This thesis, composed of three journal articles, presents a compliant electrode material, based on a novel fabrication procedure. The compliant electrodes consisted of a photopatternable, urethane matrix embedded with platinum nanoparticles. The first in the series of journal articles, "Benchtop Polymer MEMS," characterized the unloaded urethane matrix's compatibility with microfabrication and patterning processes. The second, "Compliant Electrodes Based on Platinum Salt Reduction in a Urethane Matrix," presented a unique manufacturing process for compliant electrodes, which exhibited a secant modulus under 10 MPa, an electrical conductivity of 1 S/cm, and maintained electrical conductivity under mechanical strains of 30%. The third, "High-Strain, High-Conductivity Photopatternable Electrodes," explored a modification to this fabrication method that yielded a dramatic improvement in performance: an electrical conductivity of 50 S/cm, mechanical strains of 150% without loss of conductivity, robustness after thousands of strain cycles, and low hysteresis.