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Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8380-8397; doi:10.3390/s140508380
Article

Fabrication and Characterization of a Micromachined Swirl-Shaped Ionic Polymer Metal Composite Actuator with Electrodes Exhibiting Asymmetric Resistance

1,2,*  and 1
Received: 3 March 2014; in revised form: 24 April 2014 / Accepted: 7 May 2014 / Published: 12 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Micro Sensors and Actuators)
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Abstract: This paper presents a swirl-shaped microfeatured ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) actuator. A novel micromachining process was developed to fabricate an array of IPMC actuators on a glass substrate and to ensure that no shortcircuits occur between the electrodes of the actuator. We demonstrated a microfluidic scheme in which surface tension was used to construct swirl-shaped planar IPMC devices of microfeature size and investigated the flow velocity of Nafion solutions, which formed the backbone polymer of the actuator, within the microchannel. The unique fabrication process yielded top and bottom electrodes that exhibited asymmetric surface resistance. A tool for measuring surface resistance was developed and used to characterize the resistances of the electrodes for the fabricated IPMC device. The actuator, which featured asymmetric electrode resistance, caused a nonzero-bias current when the device was driven using a zero-bias square wave, and we propose a circuit model to describe this phenomenon. Moreover, we discovered and characterized a bending and rotating motion when the IPMC actuator was driven using a square wave. We observed a strain rate of 14.6% and a displacement of 700 μm in the direction perpendicular to the electrode surfaces during 4.5-V actuation.
Keywords: IPMC; Nafion; asymmetric electrode; actuator IPMC; Nafion; asymmetric electrode; actuator
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Feng, G.-H.; Liu, K.-M. Fabrication and Characterization of a Micromachined Swirl-Shaped Ionic Polymer Metal Composite Actuator with Electrodes Exhibiting Asymmetric Resistance. Sensors 2014, 14, 8380-8397.

AMA Style

Feng G-H, Liu K-M. Fabrication and Characterization of a Micromachined Swirl-Shaped Ionic Polymer Metal Composite Actuator with Electrodes Exhibiting Asymmetric Resistance. Sensors. 2014; 14(5):8380-8397.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Feng, Guo-Hua; Liu, Kim-Min. 2014. "Fabrication and Characterization of a Micromachined Swirl-Shaped Ionic Polymer Metal Composite Actuator with Electrodes Exhibiting Asymmetric Resistance." Sensors 14, no. 5: 8380-8397.



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