This study introduces the concept of ion selective actuation in polymer metal composite actuators, employing crown ether bearing aromatic polyether materials. For this purpose, sulfonated poly(arylene ether ketone) (SPAEK) and crown ether containing SPAEK with molar masses suitable for membrane preparation are synthesized. The synthesized polymers are characterized using Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectroscopy, thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC) actuators are fabricated by electroless chemical deposition of a platinum (Pt) layer on both sides of SPAEK and crown-ether containing SPAEK membranes, resulting in electrode layers of around 120 nm thickness. Actuation experiments demonstrate cation specific responses and bending degrees of the IPMC actuators. Incorporation of crown ether units in the polymer backbone results in an improved and ion-selective bending displacement compared with SPAEK actuators. S(25)C(50)PAEK actuators show an increased bending displacement of 28% for Na+ and 20% for K+ ions.
- Crown ether
- ion selective actuation
- ionic polymer metal composite actuator
- poly(arylene ether ketone)