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Proceedings Paper

Electrochemical stimulation and control of electroactive polymer gels
Author(s): Rainer W. Guelch; Jens Holdenried; Andrea Weible; Thomas Wallmersperger; Bernd Kroeplin
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Paper Abstract

Direct effects of electrical currents on polyelectrolyte gels are always associated with changes in their Donnan potential. Thus electrical stimulation of gels can be only completely understood if the direct effect of electric fields on the potential profile within the gels are known. The purpose of this study is to present recordings of Donnan potentials in electroactive gels of various compositions, especially under the influence of electric fields. An important finding is that opposite alterations in the Donnan potential simultaneously occur at the current inflow and outflow region of the gel. In anionic gels hyperpolarization, i.e. higher negativity, is induced on the anode-side of the gel, whereas depolarization is found on the cathode-side. As these shifts in the potential are supposed to affect swelling or deswelling of polyelectrolyte gels, they will primarily promote bending motions of the gel. To demonstrate the opposite bending behavior of anionic and cationic polymer gels under the influence of an electric field a short video sequence of an EAP gripper in action is presented. It is made exclusively of polyelectrolyte gel strips taking advantage of the fact that anionic and cationic polyacrylamide gels can be attached firmly to each other without any adhesive.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 July 2001
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4329, Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices, (16 July 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.432664
Show Author Affiliations
Rainer W. Guelch, Eberhard-Karls-Univ. Tuebingen (Germany)
Jens Holdenried, Eberhard-Karls-Univ. Tuebingen (Germany)
Andrea Weible, Eberhard-Karls-Univ. Tuebingen (Germany)
Thomas Wallmersperger, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Bernd Kroeplin, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4329:
Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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