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Proceedings Paper

Ionic polymer-metal composite actuators employing sulfonated poly (styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene) as ionic-exchange membranes
Author(s): Xuan-Lun Wang; Il-Kwon Oh; Jun Lu; Jin-Hun Ju; Sun-Woo Lee
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Paper Abstract

There is growing interest in biomimetic motions by employing ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMCs) as the candidates for the fabrication of artificial muscle. However, the membrane materials currently used in IPMC actuators have been limited to a few commercially available perfluorinated ionic polymers, such as Nafion, and they suffer from several shortcomings among which their high cost presents a major obstacle for wide application. With excellent proton conductivity and high water uptake capacity, commercially available Sulfonated poly (styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene) (SEBS) of low cost has been investigated for many years as a fuel cell membrane. Herein, we report the preparation of a novel IPMC actuator based on the sulfonated SEBS (SSEBS) membrane. The platinum electrodes of the SEBS actuators were obtained with electroless plating procedure, and the cation exchange with lithium was performed by soaking the composite membranes into a 1.5N LiCl solution. The surface and cross-sectional morphologies of the SSEBS actuators were observed by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which revealed that the platinum layer up to 8µm was deposited on the top and bottom surfaces of the SSEBS membrane. The electromechanical bending responses were investigated under alternating current excitations with various driving frequencies and voltage amplitudes, which showed high electrical strains under sinusoidal signal. The effect of the membrane thickness on the performance of the actuators was also addressed in this presentation. This kind of IPMC has great potentials for the applications in biomimetic sensors and actuators, which can be utilized to mimic the locomotion of fish and insects and can be applied to micro-robots and bio-medical devices as well.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6423, International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering, 64230V (1 November 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.779343
Show Author Affiliations
Xuan-Lun Wang, Chonnam National Univ. (South Korea)
Il-Kwon Oh, Chonnam National Univ. (South Korea)
Jun Lu, Chonnam National Univ. (South Korea)
Jin-Hun Ju, Chonnam National Univ. (South Korea)
Sun-Woo Lee, Chonnam National Univ. (South Korea)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6423:
International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering
Shanyi Du; Jinsong Leng; Anand K. Asundi, Editor(s)

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