1 April 2015 Measuring blocking force to interpret ionic mechanisms within bucky-gel actuators
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Bucky-gel laminates are tri-layer structures where polymeric electrolyte film is sandwiched between two compliant electrode layers of carbon nanotubes and ionic liquid. The resulting ionic and capacitive structures, being regarded as a type of electromechanically active polymers (EAP), have the perspective of becoming soft bending actuators in the fields such as biomimetic robotics or lab-on-chip technology. A typical electromechanical step response of a bucky-gel actuator in a cantilever configuration exhibits a fast bending displacement followed by some reverse motion referred to as the back-relaxation. It has been proposed that the bending but also the back-relaxation of bucky-gel laminates occur due to the relocation of cations and anions within the tri-layer structure. A great number of modeling about ionic EAP materials aims to predict the amplitude of free bending or the blocking force of the actuator. However, as the bucky-gel laminates are viscoelastic, the translation from generated force to bending amplitude is not always straightforward – it can take the form of an integro-differential equation with speed (i.e. the amplitude and type of the input signal) and temperature (i.e. the electronic conductivity of the material and driving current) as just some of the parameters. In this study we propose to use a so-called two carrier-model to analyze the electromechanical response of a bucky-gel actuator. After modifying the electrical equivalent circuit, the time domain response of blocking force is measured to elaborate the ionic mechanisms during the work-cycle of bucky-gel actuator.
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Karl Kruusamäe, Karl Kruusamäe, Takushi Sugino, Takushi Sugino, Kinji Asaka, Kinji Asaka, "Measuring blocking force to interpret ionic mechanisms within bucky-gel actuators", Proc. SPIE 9430, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2015, 94300P (1 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2083812; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2083812

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