11 July 2002 Nafion-based smart membrane as an actuator array
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To answer the need for a dense array of actuators, we tried to integrate several actuators in a single Nafion membrane by simply patterning the soft metal electrodes deposited on the membrane. We designed several independent octagonal electrodes on the same membrane. The experiments showed that we could actuate each cell independently. The use of gold electrodes and tetraethyl ammonium ion instead of platinum copper electrodes and copper ion improves the repeatability but at the cost of the large deformation. We studied the influence of the membrane thickness on actuation. Nafion 115 (125-micron thick) showed a similar behavior than the classic Nafion 117 (180-micron thick). We also investigated Nafion 112 (50-micron thick) as an actuator. We did 6 gold plating cycles to deposit the same amount of gold as on the other membranes. This membrane showed a unique actuation behavior, due its high flexibility. We prepared a 3x3 array of disk shaped actuators using Nafion 112. We used hydrophobic masks to create the patterning. Upon actuation the cell quickly reached a quite large deformation and relaxed to an equilibrium position. To get actuation between two stable positions we are currently trying to create symmetric equilibrium positions for the cell.
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Marie Le Guilly, Mikio Uchida, Minoru Taya, "Nafion-based smart membrane as an actuator array", Proc. SPIE 4695, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (11 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.475151; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.475151

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