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Issue 5, 2011
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Exceptional versatility of solvated block copolymer/ionomer networks as electroactive polymers

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Abstract

Responsive materials possess properties that change abruptly when exposed to an external stimulus, and electroactive polymers constitute examples of robust, lightweight materials that change shape upon electrical actuation. We demonstrate that solvated block copolymer networks afford tremendous versatility in designing electronic and ionic electroactive polymers. As dielectric elastomers, styrenic block copolymer systems attain extraordinary actuation strains approaching 300%, along with high electromechanical coupling efficiencies. Changing the solvent improves the blocking stress and yields remarkably high energy densities, while providing a unique opportunity for mechanical impedance matching and control of shape recovery kinetics, as well as mode of deformation. Dielectric elastomers composed of acrylic copolymers actuate beyond 100% in-plane strain without any prestrain, whereas block ionomer networks swollen with ionic solutions yield ionic polymer–metal composites, which actuate by bending. Selective solvation of block copolymer networks represents an effective and largely unexplored means by which to tune the function and properties of electroactive polymers through systematic manipulation of copolymer and solvent attributes.

Graphical abstract: Exceptional versatility of solvated block copolymer/ionomer networks as electroactive polymers

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Oct 2010, accepted on 16 Dec 2010 and first published on 18 Jan 2011


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01210F
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 1651-1655
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    Exceptional versatility of solvated block copolymer/ionomer networks as electroactive polymers

    P. H. Vargantwar, R. Shankar, A. S. Krishnan, T. K. Ghosh and R. J. Spontak, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 1651
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01210F

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