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7 June 2000 Bending response of polymer electrolyte actuator
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To induce bending motion in a perfluorinated polymer electrolyte by electric stimuli in water or saline solution, plating with metal is required. To fabricate electrodes, a perfluorocarboxylic acid membrane was soaked in Au(III) di- chloro phenanthroline complex solution, and then any adsorbed Au(III) cation complex was reduced in aqueous sodium sulfite. Optimizing the motion response depends on control of the chemical plating procedure. By sequential adsorption/reduction cycling, a suitable pair of gold electrodes with a fractal-like structure have been grown. We illustrate the advantage of optimizing the interfacial area between electrode and membrane to enhance deformation response. To achieve this, gold deposits in the film are accumulated by sequential adsorption/reduction plating cycles. Actuator displacement increased with the number of plating gold deposition cycles up to roughly 6 times, but showed no clear improvement beyond. It is believed that with excessive plating, the interfacial area begins to decrease and/or the hardness of the electrode increases, thus countering any improvement in electrical conductance. Displacement rates were proportional to current. This high interfacial area between the electrodes and polymer electrolyte leads to larger deformation. The measured deformation progressively improves with cycling. Its motional response and versatility are illustrated by some examples.
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Kazuo Onishi, Shingo Sewa, Kinji Asaka, Naoko Fujiwara, and Keisuke Oguro "Bending response of polymer electrolyte actuator", Proc. SPIE 3987, Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (7 June 2000);

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