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Title: Ionic polymer metal composite compression sensors with 3D-structured interfaces
In this paper, we report the development of tailored 3D-structured (engineered) polymer-metal interfaces to create enhanced 'engineered ionic polymer metal composite' (eIPMC) sensors towards soft, self-powered, high sensitivity strain sensor applications. We introduce a novel advanced additive manufacturing approach to tailor the morphology of the polymer-electrode interfaces via inkjet-printed polymer microscale features. We hypothesize that these features can promote inhomogeneous strain within the material upon the application of external pressure, responsible for improved compression sensing performance. We formalize a minimal physics-based chemoelectromechanical model to predict the linear sensor behavior of eIPMCs in both open-circuit and short-circuit sensing conditions. The model accounts for polymer-electrode interfacial topography to define the inhomogeneous mechanical response driving electrochemical transport in the eIPMC. Electrochemical experiments demonstrate improved electrochemical properties of the inkjet-printed eIPMCs as compared to the standard IPMC sensors fabricated from Nafion polymer sheets. Similarly, compression sensing results show a significant increase in sensing performance of inkjet-printed eIPMC. We also introduce two alternative methods of eIPMC fabrication for sub-millimeter features, namely filament-based fused-deposition manufacturing and stencil printing, and experimentally demonstrate their improved sensing performance. Our results demonstrate increasing voltage output associated to increasing applied mechanical pressure and enhanced performance of the proposed eIPMC sensors against traditional IPMC based compression sensors.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1809455
NSF-PAR ID:
10344827
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Smart materials and structures
Volume:
30
Issue:
12
ISSN:
1361-665X
Page Range / eLocation ID:
125027
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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