6 April 2009 Coupled electro-mechanical response of an electroactive polymer cantilever structure and its application in energy harvesting
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Ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMC), piezoelectric polymer composites and nematic elastomer composites are materials, which exhibit characteristics of both sensors and actuators. Large deformation and curvature are observed in these systems when electric potential is applied. Effects of geometric non-linearity due to the chargeinduced motion in these materials are poorly understood. In this paper, a coupled model for understanding the behavior of an ionic polymer beam undergoing large deformation and large curvature is presented. Maxwell's equations and charge transport equations are considered which couple the distribution of the ion concentration and the pressure gradient along length of a cantilever beam with interdigital electrodes. A nonlinear constitutive model is derived accounting for the visco-elasto-plastic behavior of these polymers and based on the hypothesis that the presence of electrical charge stretches/contracts bonds, which give rise to electrical field dependent softening/hardening. Polymer chain orientation in statistical sense plays a role on such softening or hardening. Elementary beam kinematics with large curvature is considered. A model for understanding the deformation due to electrostatic repulsion between asymmetrical charge distributions across the cross-sections is presented. Experimental evidence that Silver(Ag) nanoparticle coated IPMCs can be used for energy harvesting is reported. An IPMC strip is vibrated in different environments and the electric power against a resistive load is measured. The electrical power generated was observed to vary with the environment with maximum power being generated when the strip is in wet state. IPMC based energy harvesting systems have potential applications in tidal wave energy harvesting, residual environmental energy harvesting to power MEMS and NEMS devices.
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B. Ahish, B. Ahish, S. V Anand, S. V Anand, P. Bharath, P. Bharath, K. Arvind, K. Arvind, N. Chakraborty, N. Chakraborty, D. Roy Mahapatra, D. Roy Mahapatra, } "Coupled electro-mechanical response of an electroactive polymer cantilever structure and its application in energy harvesting", Proc. SPIE 7287, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2009, 728728 (6 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.816016; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.816016

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