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A Co-Reduction Process for Plating Ionic Polymer Transducers With Precious and Non-Precious Metal Electrodes

[+] Author Affiliations
Matthew D. Bennett, Donald J. Leo

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. IMECE2002-39007, pp. 37-46; 10 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Adaptive Structures and Materials Systems
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3625-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


A co-reduction process is developed for plating ionic polymer materials with precious and non-precious metal electrodes. The purpose is to develop a process that reduces the use of expensive precious metals such as platinum and gold in the development of ionic polymer transducers. Previous results by Bennett and Leo (1) have demonstrated that oxidation is the key issue associated with the use of non-precious metal electrodes. The present work overcomes this problem through the use of a co-reduction process in which an alloy of platinum and copper is deposited in an impregnation/reduction process. A thin (~50 nm) layer of gold is then deposited to increase the surface conductivity of the electrode. Actuators developed using this process are tested for longevity for approximately 250,000 cycles. The results demonstrate the stability of the electrode, although multiple tests reveal that variations in the process produce variations in the electrode stability.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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