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Proceedings Paper

Fabrication, morphology, and actuation from novel single-wall carbon nanotube/Nafion composites
Author(s): Debjit Chattopadhyay; Izabela E. Galeska; Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos; Edgar Munoz; Ray Henry Baughman
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Paper Abstract

Mechanical actuators that simultaneously provide high power densities and large force generation capacities are of great scientific and technological interest. Recently single wall carbon nanotube (SWNT) sheets (bucky papers) were shown to possess significant promise as electrochemical actuators. Embedding polyelectrolytes, like Nafion, within the nanotube matrix has the potential to address the limitations of SWNT bundling and tube slippage thus increasing force generation. In this paper two types of Nafion/SWNT composite actuators have been investigated depending on the method of fabrication. In the first case, infiltration of Nafion within SWNT sheet matrix was followed by annealing at 150 degree(s)C to invert Nafion's micellar structure and render it insoluble. This has resulted in a substantially exfoliated layer morphology that causes a reduction in both conductivity and actuation strain (c.a. 0.03%). In the second case, slow casting of a methanolic suspension of Nafion and SWNT soot, followed by annealing at 150 degree(s)C, resulted in a more homogeneous structure. This composite, upon electrochemical cycling between -1 and +1 V in aqueous electrolytes, exhibited actuation strains (as high as 0.43%). However, these higher strains are accompanied by an order of magnitude reduction in modulus largely due to Nafion swelling.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 2002
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 4695, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (11 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.475203
Show Author Affiliations
Debjit Chattopadhyay, Univ. of Connecticut (United States)
Izabela E. Galeska, Univ. of Connecticut (United States)
Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos, Univ. of Connecticut (United States)
Edgar Munoz, Univ. of Texas at Dallas (United States)
Ray Henry Baughman, Univ. of Texas at Dallas (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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