We investigate the influence of conductor network composites (CNCs) on the electromechanical performance of the ionic polymer conductor network composite (IPCNC) actuators fabricated by the direct assembly method with ionic liquids as the solvent. It was observed that the newly developed IPCNCs with the layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembled Au nanocomposite CNC layers exhibit a high strain response (∼14% peak-to-peak strain) in comparison with that of IPCNCs with the traditional RuO2/Nafion nanocomposite CNC layers (∼6% peak-to-peak strain) under a 4 V DC signal. It is also observed that it is the slow ion transport process in the CNC layers that limits the IPCNC actuation speed and a thick CNC layer will result in a long ion transport time, slow actuation speed, as well as low efficiency. Making use of the fact that the LbL self-assembled nanocomposite CNCs can be made into thin layers (sub-micron) with high quality and large strain response, an IPCNC actuator with 0.4 μm thick of LbL CNC layers on 25 μm thick Nafion film exhibits an actuation response ∼0.2 s with large bending actuation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Metals and Alloys
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering