Submitted to: Polymers and the Environment
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/21/2003
Publication Date: 4/1/2004
Citation: Finkenstadt, V.L., Willett, J.L. Electroactive materials composed of starch. 2004. Polymers and the Environment. v. 12. n. 2. p. 43-46. Interpretive Summary: Starch is a biodegradable, renewable resource. In terms of electrical properties, starch is naturally insulative. We proposed that starch could be used as a solid polymer matrix in ion-conducting materials that have good mechanical properties and moderately high conductance. The conductive polymeric materials could be used as biosensors, EMS devices, or controlled release matrices.
Technical Abstract: Extruded films of plasticized starch were doped with metal halides to produce solid ion-conducting materials. The electrical conductance of the material increased from 10 minus 11 S/cm to 10 minus 6 S/cm. The type and amount of dopant affects the conductance of the material. Although the materials are moisture sensitive, water content does not have a significant effect on the conductance of doped films. Mechanical properties of doped films indicate that the starch is plasticized and that the ion-conducting material is strong and tractable. Unlike intrinsically conductive polymers, electroactive starch materials can be extruded in thin films or molded into any shape.