High-performance polymer ionomer-ionic liquid membrane IPMC actuator

Jang Woo Lee, Soon Man Hong, Chong Min Koo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


A high-performance ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) actuator based on a polyelectrolyte membrane has been constructed from a poly((t-butyl-styrene)-b- (ethylene-r-propylene)-b-(styrene-r-styrene sulfonate)-b-(ethylene-r-propylene)- b-(t-butyl-styrene)) (tBS-EP-SS-EP-tBS; SSPB) pentablock copolymer ionomer and the ionic liquid (IL) 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide (BMImTFSI). The SSPB copolymer ionomer had microphase-separated morphology comprising alternating styrene-rich ionic channel regions and aliphatic EP-rich non-ionic regions, on the several tens of nanometers scale (average diameter of ionic channel regions ca. 20 nm), whereas the most commonly used Nafion contained narrow ion clusters of less than 4 nm. The large ionic channels of SSPB enabled better transport of such bulky ions as IL ions, and endowed the SSPB-BMImTFSI membrane with ionic conductivity superior to that of the Nafion-BMImTFSI membrane (SSPB-BMImTFSI: 1.01 × 10-4 S/cm, Nafion-BMImTFSI: 0.49 × 10-4 S/cm). The SSPB-BMImTFSI membrane-based IPMC actuator generated a larger and faster electromechanical response than the Nafion-based IPMC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalResearch on Chemical Intermediates
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Actuator
  • Imidazolium ionic liquid
  • Ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMCs)
  • Sulfonated styrene pentablock copolymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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