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High Conductivity Ionic Liquid- Nafion Mat Composites for High Speed Ionic Polymer Transducers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Barbar Akle
Affiliation:
bakle@vt.edu, Virginia Tech, ME / CIMSS, 303 Durham Hall, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, United States
Donald J. Leo
Affiliation:
donleo@vt.edu, Virginia Tech, ME / CIMSS, United States
Changwoon Nah
Affiliation:
cnah@vt.edu, Chonbuk National University, Department of Polymer Science & Engineering, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
Abdul M. Kader
Affiliation:
cnah@vt.edu, Chonbuk National University, Department of Polymer Science & Engineering, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
Corresponding
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Abstract

Ionomeric polymer transducers consist of an ion-exchange membrane plated with conductive metal layers on the outer surfaces. Such materials are known to generate large bending strain (> 9% is possible) at low applied voltages (typically less than 5 V). The main disadvantage of ionomer–ionic liquid transducers is the slow speed of response. The speed of response in such actuators has been correlated to the ionic liquid content and the conductivity of the membrane. To increase the conductivity of the transducers a Nafion™ mat is hydrated with 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate (EMI-Tf) ionic liquids and high surface area RuO2 electrodes are attached using the Direct Assembly Process (DAP). The Nafion™ mat is prepared from homogenous solution electrospinning. The solution is prepared by mixing 1 wt % of polyethylene oxide solution in methanol (PEO, Mol. wt 3×106) to 5 wt % Nafion 1100 solution.. The syringe needle is connected to a 15kV power supply and is placed 15cm away from the collecting drum. The measured conductivities of water hydrated Nafion electro-spun fibers are 16.8 mS/cm, which are lower than the nominal 110 mS/cm that of H+ Nafion membranes. The uptake is measured to be around 250 %wt compared to 58 %wt obtained in Nafion films. The ionic conductivity of 110 %wt swollen ionic liquids-Nafion mat composite is computed to be 0.9 mS/cm compared to 0.3 mS/cm in ionic liquid-Nafion membrane composite. The speed of response in actuators with an ionic liquid- Nafion™ mat is 1.34 %/s compared to 0.88 %/s for that in ionic liquid Nafion™ film transducers.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2006

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References

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