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9 April 2010Conductive filler morphology effect on performance of ionic polymer conductive network composite actuators
Sheng Liu,1 Yang Liu,1 Hulya Cebeci,2 Roberto Guzman de Villoria,2 Jun-Hong Lin,1 Brian L. Wardle,2 Qiming Zhang1 1The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States) 2Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Several generations of ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC) actuators have been developed since 1992. It has been
discovered that the composite electrodes which are composed of electronic and ionic conductors, have great impact on
performance of ionic polymer actuators by affecting strain level, efficiency and speed. One of important factors in
composite electrodes is the shape and morphology of electronic conductor fillers. In this paper, RuO2 nanoparticles and
vertically aligned carbon nanotube (Va-CNT) are used as conductor fillers. Making use of unique properties of Va-CNT
forests with ultrahigh volume fraction in Nafion nanocomposite, an ionic polymer actuator is developed. Ion transport
speed is greatly increased along CNT alignment direction. The high elastic anisotropy, arising from the high modulus
and volume fraction of Va-CNTs, enhances actuation strain while reducing the undesirable direction strain. More than
8% actuation strain under 4 volts with less than one second response time has been achieved.
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Sheng Liu, Yang Liu, Hulya Cebeci, Roberto Guzman de Villoria, Jun-Hong Lin, Brian L. Wardle, Qiming Zhang, "Conductive filler morphology effect on performance of ionic polymer conductive network composite actuators," Proc. SPIE 7642, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010, 764219 (9 April 2010);