Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)


Mechanical Engineering

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Manoj Ram, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Ashok Kumar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Arash Takshi, Ph.D.


Characterization, Electrochemistry, Polymers, Synthesis, Thin film deposition


Conjugated polymers have been used in various applications (battery, supercapacitor, electromagnetic shielding, chemical sensor, biosensor, nanocomposite, light-emitting-diode, electrochromic display etc.) due to their excellent conductivity, electrochemical and optical properties, and low cost. Polyaniline has attracted the researchers from all disciplines of science, engineering, and industry due to its redox properties, environmental stability, conductivity, and optical properties. Moreover, it is a polymer with fast electroactive switching and reversible properties displayed at low potential, which is an important feature in many applications. The thin oriented polyaniline films have been fabricated using self-assembly, Langmuir-Blodgett, in-situ self-assembly, layer-by-layer, and electrochemical technique. The focus of this thesis is to synthesize and characterize polyaniline thin films with and without dyes. Also, the purpose of this thesis is to find the fastest electroactive switching PANI electrode in different electrolytic medium by studying their electrochemical properties. These films were fabricated using two deposition techniques: in-situ self-assembly and electrochemical deposition. The characterization of these films was done using techniques such as Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), UV-spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD). FTIR and UV-spectroscopy showed similar results in the structure of the polyaniline films. However, for the dye incorporated films, since there was an addition in the synthesis of the material, peak locations shifted, and new peaks corresponding to these materials appeared. The 1 layer PANI showed compact film morphology, comparing to other PANI films, which displayed a fiber-like structure. Finally, the electrochemical properties of these thin films were studied using cyclic voltammetry (CV), chronoamperometry (CA), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) in different scenarios. These scenarios included the study in different acid based electrolytes and different gel based electrolytes. The ultra-thin self-assembled PANI films were shown to have a faster switching time, especially for the 1 layer PANI, whereas the color contrast could be observed for the film containing the dye molecule. Also, HCl based electrolyte gave the best electrochemical reversibility compared to other acids used. For the gelatin and PVA based electrolytes, having the same concentration, the results were similar. Hence, the change in the electrolyte consistencies, from liquid to semi-solid, did not change the electrochemical properties of the films. Finally, in the EIS, it was shown that these PANI thin films exhibit a pseudo-capacitance behavior, and as the film thickness grew, the capacitance increased.