Conductive filler morphology effect on performance of ionic polymer conductive network composite actuators

Sheng Liu*, Yang Liu, Hulya Cebeci, Roberto Guzman De Villoria, Jun Hong Lin, Brian L. Wardle, Qiming Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Several generations of ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC) actuators have been developed since 1992. It has been discovered that the composite electrodes which are composed of electronic and ionic conductors, have great impact on performance of ionic polymer actuators by affecting strain level, efficiency and speed. One of important factors in composite electrodes is the shape and morphology of electronic conductor fillers. In this paper, RuO2 nanoparticles and vertically aligned carbon nanotube (Va-CNT) are used as conductor fillers. Making use of unique properties of Va-CNT forests with ultrahigh volume fraction in Nafion nanocomposite, an ionic polymer actuator is developed. Ion transport speed is greatly increased along CNT alignment direction. The high elastic anisotropy, arising from the high modulus and volume fraction of Va-CNTs, enhances actuation strain while reducing the undesirable direction strain. More than 8% actuation strain under 4 volts with less than one second response time has been achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 8 Mar 201011 Mar 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Aligned carbon nanotubes
  • Ionic polymer actuators
  • Nanocomposite
  • Strain and speed


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