A highly aromatic and sulfonated ionomer for high elastic modulus ionic polymer membrane micro-actuators

Gokhan Hatipoglu, Yang Liu, Ran Zhao, Mitra Yoonessi, Dean M. Tigelaar, Srinivas Tadigadapa, Q. M. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A high modulus, sulfonated ionomer synthesized from 4,6-bis(4- hydroxyphenyl)-N,N-diphenyl-1,3,5-triazin-2-amine and 4,4-biphenol with bis(4-fluorophenyl)sulfone (DPA-PS:BP) is investigated for ionic polymer actuators. The uniqueness of DPA-PS:BP is that it can have a high ionic liquid (IL) uptake and consequently generates a high intrinsic strain response, which is >1.1% under 1.6V while maintaining a high elastic modulus (i.e. 600MPa for 65vol% IL uptake). Moreover, such a high modulus of the active ionomer, originating from the highly aromatic backbone and side-chain-free structure, allows for the fabrication of free-standing thin film micro-actuators (down to 5m thickness) via the solution cast method and focused-ion-beam milling, which exhibits a much higher bending actuation, i.e. 43m tip displacement and 180kPa blocking stress for a 200m long and 5m thick cantilever actuator, compared with the ionic actuators based on traditional ionomers such as Nafion, which has a much lower elastic modulus (50MPa) and actuation strain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055015
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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