All-organic actuator fabricated with single wall carbon nanotube electrodes



Compliant electrodes to replace conventional metal electrodes have been required for many actuators to relieve the constraint on the electroactive layer. Many conducting polymers have been proposed for the alternative electrodes, but they still have a problem of poor thermal stability. This article reports a novel all- organic actuator with single wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) films as an alternative electrode. The SWCNT film was obtained by filtering a SWCNT solution through an anodized alumina membrane. The conductivity of the SWCNT film was about 280 S/cm. The performance of the SWCNT film electrode was characterized by measuring the dielectric properties of NASA Langley Research Center – Electroactive Polymer (LaRC-EAP) sandwiched by the SWCNT electrodes over a broad range of temperature (from 25 to 280 °C) and frequency (from 1 kHz to 1 MHz). The all-organic actuator with the SWCNT electrodes showed a larger electric field-induced strain than that with metal electrodes, under identical measurement conditions. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 46: 2532–2538, 2008