Ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs) are a class of soft active materials that are finding increasing application in robotics, environmental sensing, and energy harvesting. In this letter, we demonstrate the fabrication of IPMCs via in-situ photoinduced polymerization of polypyrrole-silver electrodes on an ionomeric membrane. The composition, morphology, and sheet resistance of the electrodes are extensively characterized through a range of experimental techniques. We experimentally investigate IPMC electrochemistry through electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and we propose a modified Randle's model to interpret the impedance spectrum. Finally, we demonstrate in-air dynamic actuation and sensing and assess IPMC performance against more established fabrication methods. Given the simplicity of the process and the short time required for the formation of the electrodes, we envision the application of our technique in the development of a rapid prototyping technology for IPMCs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)