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Proceedings Paper

Electroactive polyacrylonitrile nanofibers as artificial nanomuscles
Author(s): Mohsen Shahinpoor; Ian D. Norris; Benjamin R. Mattes; Kwang J. Kim; Laurel O. Sillerud
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Paper Abstract

In this multi-institutional effort, polyacrylonitrile- nanofibers (PAN-N) have been fabricated by the electro- spinning method. Realizing that the response time of PAN is governed by the diffusional processes of ions/solvents interaction, the use of sucn PAN-N are promising for fabricating fast response PAN artificial muscles. PAN-N fibers were suitably annealed, cross-linked and hydrolyzed to become active. It should be noted that activated PAN fibers have their capability of changing effective longitudinal strain more than 100%, and their comparable strength to human muscle. Therefore, such high strength of the PAN fibers is a dfinite advantage over other types of ionic gels that are usually very weak. A key molecular structure of PAN, hydrogen bonding between hydrogen and the neighboring nitrogen of the nitrile group, exhibiting insolubility, thermal stability, and resistance to swelling in most organic solvents, is thought to be due to its cross-linked polymer structure. In this paper, the authors present the analytic results of such PAN fibers, including micrographs and solid-states NMR. These results provide a great potential in developing fast activating PAN-N muscles and linear actuators, as well as integrated pairs of antagonistic muscles and muscle sarcomere and myosin/actin- like assembly.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 2002
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4695, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (11 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.475181
Show Author Affiliations
Mohsen Shahinpoor, Univ. of New Mexico and Environmental Robots, Inc. (United States)
Ian D. Norris, Santa Fe Science and Technology, Inc. (United States)
Benjamin R. Mattes, Santa Fe Science and Technology, Inc. (United States)
Kwang J. Kim, Nevada Ventures Nanoscience Program and Univ. of Nevada/Reno (United States)
Laurel O. Sillerud, Environmental Robots Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4695:
Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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