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22 March 2006 Mutiple electrode patterning of ionic polymer metal composite actuators
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The ionic polymer metal composite actuators have the best merit for large deformation and bio-mimetic motion generation. In this study, the noble patterning methods of multiple electrodes have been developed for the realization of the bio-mimetic fish-like locomotion by actuating the multiple electrodes. There are so many fabrication methods for patterning and depositing the platinum electrodes including electroless chemical reduction, physical sputtering, e-beam deposition and electroplating. Generally, the ionic-polymer metal composite actuator has been fabricated in electroless plating technique, while it needs very long fabrication time and shows poor repeatability in the actuation performance. Therefore the several fabricating methods are newly investigated by combining electroless plating, photolithograpy, physical sputtering, and electroplating techniques capable of precisely patterning and actuating of the multiple electrodes. Present results show that the initial composite between the Nafion polymer membrane and the platinum electrode is very important for the better bending performance. Consequently, the mixing the electroless chemical reduction and sputtering or electroplating can be a promising candidate for the better bending performance, although the patterned shape of the multiple electrodes may be coarse in the fabricating process of the electroless plating with masking tapes. However, the sputtering and electroplating methods with a photolithography technique can be incorporated in the precise design of MEMS devices, while the actuation performance may be slightly reduced.
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Il-Kwon Oh, Jin-Han Jeon, and Yeon-Gwan Lee "Mutiple electrode patterning of ionic polymer metal composite actuators", Proc. SPIE 6168, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), 616828 (22 March 2006);

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