Ionic electroactive polymer (IEAP) actuators with carbon based porous electrodes and ionic liquid electrolyte are attractive alternatives compared to the actuators composed of noble metal electrodes. Besides of numerous other parameters, the porosity of the electrode matrix has high influence on the electrochemical behavior and mechanical response of these actuators. Porosity has direct influence on the tortuosity, electronic conductivity, ionic conductivity, ion diffusivity, mobility, as well as the specific area and specific capacitance of electrode. It can also influence directly the mechanical properties of the IEAP laminate: durability, stiffness, etc. In this study, a detailed physical model that incorporates porosity of electrodes and its relation to the electrochemical, transport and mechanical behavior of the IEAP actuator is developed. The behavior of the actuator under different porosity values is investigated through finite elements simulation. The outputs of the simulation are cation concentration, current consumed and deformation of the actuator etc. Altering porosity and determining its optimum value help to comprehend the occurring physical and electrochemical processes, as well as to design actuators capable of delivering optimum electrical and mechanical response.
S. Sunjai Nakshatharan, Urmas Johanson, Andres Punning, and Alvo Aabloo, "Effect of porosity of the electrodes on ionic electroactive polymer actuators," Proc. SPIE 10163, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017, 101632I (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 30, 2017; Published: 17 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2259763.
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