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Proceedings Paper

Electrical impedance modeling of ionic polymer transducers
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Paper Abstract

Ionic polymer transducers are a class of active material that exhibit interesting chemoelectromechanical coupling capabilities. Initially recognized for their chemoelectric properties, these materials have begun to receive notice as electromechanical transducers. This electromechanical coupling provides the fundamental mechanism for both actuator and sensor applications. Under relatively low electric stimuli (1-10kV/m) these materials are capable of achieving large bending strains (1-5%). Similarly these transducers provide effective sensing capabilities when subject to an applied external load or deformation. Recent studies indicate that the transducer's performance can be directly related to changes in the polymer's electrical impedance. An analytical model is proposed based upon these findings. The basic tenet of this model is that ion motion is induced as an electric field is applied across the polymer membrane. Transport theory is employed to model this ion motion through an electrostatics approach. This method yields a series of analytical expressions for charge density, electric field and electric potential across the polymer's thickness. The solution of the charge density profile is then used to calculate the isothermal transient ionic current (ITIC). Corresponding to the measured current, this ITIC expression is related to the applied voltage to yield a relationship between the applied voltage and the resultant current.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 May 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5761, Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Active Materials: Behavior and Mechanics, (16 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.600229
Show Author Affiliations
Kevin M. Farinholt, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Donald J. Leo, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5761:
Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Active Materials: Behavior and Mechanics
William D. Armstrong, Editor(s)

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