40. advances in ionic polymer metal composites (ipmcs): a literature review

Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Research Institute Affiliation: CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials & Systems
Faculty Advisor(s): Olivia A. Graeve

Primary Student
Name: Robyn Elizabeth Ridley
Email: reridley@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-246-0146
Grad Year: 2020

Ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs) are a class of electroactive polymers that respond to an applied voltage by bending via hydrated ion transport. The first report of an IPMC was made in 1992 [1], and a simple manufacturing process involving low temperature oxidation-reduction reactions of metal ions (typically platinum) absorbed in Nafion membranes was quickly standardized thereafter. With large bending capabilities, low driving voltages, and easy processing, IPMCs stood out as promising new materials for actuators/transducers in diverse applications such as robotics, biomedical devices, and sensors. However, the use of high-cost materials (Pt, Au, Nafion) as well as limits in IPMC blocking force, response speed, cyclic lifetime, and operating voltage/temperature ranges have limited their practicality and incorporation in real-world applications. Here, efforts made to improve IPMC materials over the past decade are reviewed. Studies involving adjustments to base polymer materials, electrode materials, and liquid electrolytes will be covered. Examples of current applications and emerging technologies for IPMC materials will also be described, including artificial muscles, underwater and soft robotics, and energy harvesting. [1] Oguro, K., Kawami, Y. Takenaka, H., Bending of an ion-conducting polymer film-electrode composite by an electric stimulus at low voltage, J. Micromachine Society, 5, 27-30 (1992)

Industry Application Area(s)
Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Materials | Soft Robotics

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