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Nafion/Polyimide based programmable moisture-driven actuators for functional structures and robots

Gangqiang Tang, Chun Zhao, Xin Zhao, Dong Mei, Yifan Pan, Bo Li, Lijie Li Orcid Logo, Yanjie Wang

Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, Volume: 393, Start page: 134152

Swansea University Author: Lijie Li Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Sustainable and environmentally friendly actuators powered by humidity, light and magnetic field are of great significance to facilitate application of microrobots. Among them, moisture-driven actuators have attracted a growing interest as a result of the widespread presence and ease of use of humid...

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Published in: Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical
ISSN: 0925-4005
Published: Elsevier BV 2023
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa63672
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Abstract: Sustainable and environmentally friendly actuators powered by humidity, light and magnetic field are of great significance to facilitate application of microrobots. Among them, moisture-driven actuators have attracted a growing interest as a result of the widespread presence and ease of use of humidity. Nevertheless, the rapid acquisition and large-scale application of the moisture-driven actuators is still difficult since synthesis process of humidity-sensitive materials is time-consuming and complex. In this paper, we proposed a facile and rapid method to prepare double-layer moisture-driven actuators by integrating commercial humidity-sensitive Nafion TM membrane and polyimide (PI) tape with good stability. Compared with other double-layer moisture-driven actuators, the so-obtained actuator has excellent performance in both the bending curvature (from -0.98 cm-1 to 5.34 cm-1) and the response speed (0.29 cm-1/s). Through programmable structure design, a series of functional structures with complex deformation modes, i.e. torsion and bending, were realized. By imitating organisms like birds, vines, inchworms and ants, a series of soft robots have been developed based on the programmable structures to achieve behaviors including grasping, crawling and weight-bearing. The proposed programmable moisture-driven actuators have shed light on the fast development of environmental-friendly functional microrobots making use of ambient humidity.
Keywords: Moisture-driven actuators, Humidity-sensitive, Nafion, Polyimide, Programmable structure, Functional microrobots
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: National Natural Science Foundation of China (51975184). National Key Research and Development Program of China (2020YFB1312900).
Start Page: 134152