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Pneumatic Actuator Response from Carbon Nanotube Sheets

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 March 2011

Geoffrey M. Spinks
Affiliation:
Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
Gordon G. Wallace
Affiliation:
Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
Leonard S. Fifield
Affiliation:
Chemistry Department, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1700, USA
Larry R. Dalton
Affiliation:
Chemistry Department, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1700, USA
Alberto Mazzoldi
Affiliation:
School of Engineering, Centro “E. Piaggio”, University of Pisa, Via Diotisalvi, 2 – 56100 Pisa, Italy
Danilo De Rossi
Affiliation:
School of Engineering, Centro “E. Piaggio”, University of Pisa, Via Diotisalvi, 2 – 56100 Pisa, Italy
Ilyas I. Khayrullin
Affiliation:
Chemistry Department, University of Texas, Dallas, Richardson, TX, 75083-0688, USA
Ray H. Baughman
Affiliation:
Chemistry Department, University of Texas, Dallas, Richardson, TX, 75083-0688, USA
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Abstract

Reversible actuation strains in excess of 2% in the sheet direction and over 300% in the thickness direction have been produced by single wall carbon nanotube mats when electrochemically charged to +1.5V (vs. SCE) in aqueous sodium chloride solution. The observed strains represent a ten-fold increase over that previously reported for carbon nanotube actuators, and is considerably larger than that achievable with polymer ferroelectric actuators. The enhanced actuator strains result from a new mechanism of electrochemically induced “pnuematic actuation” where high pressure gas forms within the porous structure of the nanotube mat causing partial delamination and swelling. An erasable “memory” effect was also observed for pneumatic actuation driven by hydrogen gas evolution/storage in the nanotube electrodes.

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Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2002

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References

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