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Proceedings Paper

The development of electrically driven mechanochemical actuators that act as artificial muscle
Author(s): Lenore Rasmussen; Lewis Meixler; Don Harper; Kimun Park
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Paper Abstract

Ras Labs, LLC, is committed to producing a variety of electroresponsive smart materials that are strong, resilient, and respond quickly and repeatedly to electrical stimuli. By effectively combining the synthetic expertise of Ras Labs with the plasma expertise of the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), Ras Labs is actively developing superior electroresponsive materials and actuators. One of the biggest challenges is the interface between the embedded electric electrodes and the electroresponsive material because of the pronounced movement of the electroresponsive material. If the electroresponsive material moves very quickly, the electric lead is often left behind and thus becomes detached. Preliminary experiments explored the bonding between these electroresponsive materials with plasma treated metals provided by PPPL. The results were encouraging, with much better bond strengths in the plasma treated metals compared to the untreated control. Ras Labs expanded upon improving the attachment of the embedded electric leads to the electroresponsive materials in these actuators using plasma treatment and other treatments to non-corrosive metal leads at PPPL. Water drop contact angle tests were performed on plasma treated stainless steel and titanium. The strength of the metal-polymer interface was determined at TRI/Princeton using modified T-peel tests on samples of electroresponsive material sandwiched between plasma treated stainless steel and titanium foils. Based on the water drop contact angle tests and the T-peel tests, nitrogen plasma treatment of titanium produced the best metal-polymer interface. Metallic plasma treatment allowed for the embedded electric leads and the electroresponsive material to work and move as a unit, with no detachment, by significantly improving the interface between the electric leads and the electroresponsive material.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 April 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6927, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2008, 69271I (10 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.775958
Show Author Affiliations
Lenore Rasmussen, Ras Labs., LLC (United States)
Lewis Meixler, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Don Harper, TRI/Princeton (United States)
Kimun Park, TRI/Princeton (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6927:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2008
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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