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Materials 2017, 10(6), 664; doi:10.3390/ma10060664

Soft Ionic Electroactive Polymer Actuators with Tunable Non-Linear Angular Deformation

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
2
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
3
Department of Energy, Ames Laboratory, Ames, IA 50011, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 10 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 21 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Abstract

The most rational approach to fabricate soft robotics is the implementation of soft actuators. Conventional soft electromechanical actuators exhibit linear or circular deformation, based on their design. This study presents the use of conjugated polymers, Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) to locally vary ion permeability of the ionic electroactive polymer actuators and manipulate ion motion through means of structural design to realize intrinsic angular deformation. Such angular deformations are closer to biomimetic systems and have potential applications in bio-robotics. Electrochemical studies reveal that the mechanism of actuation is mainly associated with the charging of electric double layer (EDL) capacitors by ion accumulation and the PEDOT:PSS layer’s expansion by ion interchange and penetration. Dependence of actuator deformation on structural design is studied experimentally and conclusions are verified by analytical and finite element method modeling. The results suggest that the ion-material interactions are considerably dominated by the design of the drop-cast PEDOT:PSS on Nafion. View Full-Text
Keywords: ionic electroactive polymers; electromechanical actuators; soft materials; angular deformation ionic electroactive polymers; electromechanical actuators; soft materials; angular deformation
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hong, W.; Almomani, A.; Chen, Y.; Jamshidi, R.; Montazami, R. Soft Ionic Electroactive Polymer Actuators with Tunable Non-Linear Angular Deformation. Materials 2017, 10, 664.

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