Solvation-Driven Electrochemical Actuation

Alain Boldini, Youngsu Cha, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We demonstrate a novel principle of contactless actuation for ionic membranes in salt solution based on solvation. Actuation is driven by differential swelling of the sides of the membrane, due to comigrating water in the solvation shells of mobile ions. We validate our theory through a series of experiments, which unravel a strong dependence of membrane deflection on the hydration numbers of mobile ions in the external solution and membrane. Our study suggests a critical role of solvation in the chemoelectromechanics of natural and artificial selectively permeable membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number046001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 27 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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