Recent ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) research efforts have been directed at developing optimized electrode configurations, using novel solvents and cations, and modeling the actuation response. A micromechanical model of IPMC actuation has been developed by Nemat-Nasser [1]. In this work a similar approach is taken to model the electrochemomechanical transduction mechanisms in IPMC’s, specifically IPMC’s with ionic liquid as the solvent. An analysis of the electrostatic interactions, which are dominant in determining actuation response, is conducted in order to gain further insight into the mechanisms behind actuation. The ultimate goal of this research is to model the underlying mechanisms of IPMC actuation in order to direct the development of new transducers consisting of novel polymers and solvents. Changes to the actuation model are also implemented to describe free air actuation and to account for the finite volume of the mobile cations. Results are presented from the different calculations and the implications are discussed.

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