Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nafion®-based polymer actuators with ionic liquids as solvent incorporated at room temperature

Maximiliano De La Higuera Macías

      Nafion® -based ionic polymer-metal composites _ IPMCs_ , with ionic liquids as solvent, were fabricated by exchanging counterions to ionic liquids at room temperature. Ion exchange is performed by only immersing IPMC in a mixture of de-ionized water and ionic liquids at room temperature for 48 h. The fabricated IPMCs exhibited a bending curvature the same as or larger than that of conventional IPMCs with ionic liquids, formed by ion exchange to ionic liquids at an elevated temperature up to about 100 °C, and also had long-term stability in operation in air, with a fluctuation smaller than 21% in bending curvature during a 180 min operation. The effective ion exchange to ionic liquids in the present method is probably due to an increase in diffusion speed of ionic liquids into IPMC by adsorption of water in a Nafion® membrane.
     It is a surprise that among IPMCs with ionic liquids 1-ethyl-3-methyl-imidazolium tetrafluoroborate, 1-buthyl-3-methyl-imidazolium tetrafluoroborate _ BMIBF4_ , and 1-buthyl-3-methyl-imidazolium hexafluorophosphate _ BMIPF6_ , IPMC with water-insoluble BMIPF6  exhibited a larger bending curvature than that IPMC with water-miscible BMIBF4 . This might be due to effective incorporation of BMIPF6  into IPMC, since BMIPF6  has a higher affinity with IPMC than with water in the mixture of water and BMIPF6 . From measurements of complex impedance and step voltage response of the driving current of IPMCs with ionic liquid, they are expressed by an equivalent circuit of a parallel combination of a serial circuit of membrane resistance of Nafion® and electric double layer capacitance at metal electrodes, with membrane capacitance of Nafion® , in a frequency range higher than about 0.1 Hz. The difference in magnitude of bending curvature in three kinds of IPMCs with ionic liquids is mainly due to the difference in bending response speed coming from the difference in the membrane resistance.

 Kikuchi, Kunitomo, and Shigeki Tsuchitani. "Nafion®-Based Polymer Actuators With Ionic Liquids As Solvent Incorporated At Room Temperature." Journal Of Applied Physics 106.5 (2009): 053519-053527. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 May 2012.

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