The actuation strain and speed of ionic electroactive polymer (EAP) actuators are mainly determined by the charge transport through the actuators and excess ion storage near the electrodes. We employ a recently developed theory on ion transport and storage to investigate the charge dynamics of short side chain Aquivion® (Hyflon®) membranes with different uptakes of ionic liquid (IL) 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate (EMI-Tf). The results reveal the existence of a critical uptake of ionic liquids above which the membrane exhibits a high ionic conductivity (σ > 5 × 10-2 mS/cm). Especially, we investigate the charge dynamics under voltages which are in the range for practical device operation (∼1 V and higher). The results show that the ionic conductivity, ionic mobility, and mobile ion concentration do not change with the applied voltage below 1 V (and for σ below 4 V). The results also show that bending actuation of the Aquivion membrane with 40wt% EMI-Tf is much larger than that of Nafion, indicating that the shorter flexible side chains improve the electromechanical coupling between the excess ions and the membrane backbones, while not affecting the actuation speed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry