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28 March 2011 Carbon aerogel based electrode material for EAP actuators
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In this work we report an actuator material, that consist of carbon aerogel, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate (EMIBF4) and poly(vinylidene-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVdF(HFP)). Actuators were made by using layer-by-layer casting method and they work as a bending actuators. Carbon aerogel is synthesized from 5- methylresorcinol, which is a waste product in oil-shale industry. It makes the material "environmentally green". Carbon aerogels have a very low density and considerable specific surface area. It is generally understood that the large interfacial surface area of electrodes gives rise to better actuation performance; therefore, designing actuators with high specific surface area electrodes is of interest. The assembled three layer actuators require low voltage to operate and work steadily in open air due to non-volatile electrolyte. The electromechanical and electrical characteristics of prepared actuators were examined and compared to our previously reported actuators based on the carbide-derived carbon and activated carbon electrodes. The differences in actuation performance were analyzed in the context of pore characteristics and degree of graphitization of carbons. The gas sorption measurements were performed to characterize pore size distribution. These actuators show high strain, low back-relaxation and low power consumption and they are good for slow-response applications compared to carbon nanotube actuators.
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Friedrich Kaasik, Janno Torop, Anna-Liisa Peikolainen, Mihkel Koel, and Alvo Aabloo "Carbon aerogel based electrode material for EAP actuators", Proc. SPIE 7976, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2011, 79760O (28 March 2011);

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