Ionic electroactive polymer actuators with aligned carbon nanotube/nafion nanocomposite electrodes

Yang Liu*, Sheng Liu, Hul̈ya Cebeci, Roberto Guzman De Villoria, Jun Hong Lin, Brian L. Wardle, Q. M. Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

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

2 Citations (Scopus)


Recent advances in fabricating controlled-morphology vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VA-CNTs) with ultrahigh volume fraction create unique opportunities for markedly improving the electromechanical performance of ionic polymer conductor network composite actuators (IPCNCs). Actuator experiments show that the continuous paths through inter-VA-CNT channels and low electrical conduction resistance due to the continuous CNTs in the composite electrodes of the IPCNC lead to fast ion transport and actuation speed (>10% strain/second). One critical issue in developing advanced actuator materials is how to suppress or eliminate unwanted strains generated under electric stimulation, which reduce the actuation efficiency and also the actuation strains. We observe that the VA-CNTs in the composite electrodes yields non-isotropic elastic modulus that suppresses the unwanted strain and markedly enhances the actuation strain (>8% strain under 4 volts). A transmission line model has been developed to understand the electrical properties of the actuator device.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHierarchical Materials and Composites - Combining Length Scales from Nano to Macro
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event2010 MRS Fall Meeting - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: 29 Nov 20103 Dec 2010

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Conference2010 MRS Fall Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA


This material is based upon work supported in part by the U.S. Army Research Office under Grant No. W911NF-07-1-0452 Ionic Liquids in Electro-Active Devices (ILEAD) MURI and by NSF under the Grant No. CMMI 0709333. At MIT the work was supported by Airbus S.A.S., Boeing, Embraer, Lockheed Martin, Saab AB, Spirit AeroSystems, Textron Inc., Composite Systems Technology, and TohoTenax Inc. through MIT’s Nano-Engineered Composite aerospace STructures (NECST) Consortium. Hülya Cebeci acknowledges support from Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) for a 2214-International Research Fellowship Programme.

FundersFunder number
TohoTenax Inc.
National Science FoundationCMMI 0709333
Army Research OfficeW911NF-07-1-0452
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştirma Kurumu


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