Investigation of stencil/ screen printing of silver (Ag) electrodes for ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs)

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The main method for Ionic Polymer Metal Composite (IPMC) electrode fabrication employs RED-OX deposition of noble metals. However, as this chemical plating technique is expensive, time-consuming and uses dangerous chemicals, we investigate the deposition of silver (Ag) electrodes by an additive manufacturing technique; stencil/ screen printing. The results indicate exceptional adhesion and mechanical stability of the cured ink to the Nafion. Moreover, the electrical properties (surface resistance measurements with the 2-probe method), microstructure (with Scanning Electron Microscopy), in addition to the electro-Active properties (deflection measurements after slight hydration of sample in water and the application of square waveforms of 10 V in amplitude and 0.05 Hz in frequency) of the 5 mm x 20 mm Ag metalised IPMCs in a cantilever configuration are tested. Resistances are low, in the range of 1.1-1.6 ω, and SEM micrographs indicate electrodes of 10 μm in thickness. Preliminary results illustrate a similar relationship of the induced displacements and the applied voltages and for the samples. The methodology for the fabricated Ag-stencil/ screen printed-electroded IPMCs is introduced, and the properties of these IPMCs are exhibited. This paper hence presents a proof of principle study, utilising a method that can significantly reduce IPMC production costs, as it decreases material prises by approximately 98% and fabrication times from 48 hours down to less than an hour compared to the state-of-Theart technique.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XXI
EditorsYoseph Bar-Cohen, Iain A. Anderson, Nancy L. Johnson
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781510625877
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2019
EventElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XXI 2019 - Denver, United States
Duration: 4 Mar 20197 Mar 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XXI 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Electrodes
  • Fabrication
  • Ionic Polymer Metal Composite (IPMC)
  • Manufacturing
  • Silver (Ag)
  • Stencil/ screen printing
  • electrodes
  • fabrication
  • additive manufacturing
  • stencil/screen printing
  • silver (Ag)
  • manufacturing


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