This book contains the proceedings of two symposia held at the 2001 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston. Electroactive polymers (EAPs) continue to emerge from anonymity to the spotlight of the science and engineering community. The characteristics of inducing large displacements, lightweight, easy processing, low cost and the functionality to emulate biological muscles are making EAPs attractive for consideration in an increasing number of applications. To make these materials actuators-of choice, however, it is necessary to solidify the technical foundations and identify niche applications where their unique capabilities provide the necessary edge. Papers focus on a wide range of these issues, from fundamental materials understanding and characterization, to new material development, to novel device concepts and demonstrations. Papers also outline many different rapid prototyping approaches including fused deposition of ceramics, stereolithography, microstamping, directed assembly, plasma spray, laser particle guidance, MAPLE DW, laser CVD, micropen, inkjet and several novel liquid or droplet microdispensing approaches.
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