Solvation-Driven Electrochemical Actuation

Alain Boldini, Youngsu Cha, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate a novel principle of contactless actuation for ionic membranes in salt solution based on solvation. Actuation is driven by differential swelling of the sides of the membrane, due to comigrating water in the solvation shells of mobile ions. We validate our theory through a series of experiments, which unravel a strong dependence of membrane deflection on the hydration numbers of mobile ions in the external solution and membrane. Our study suggests a critical role of solvation in the chemoelectromechanics of natural and artificial selectively permeable membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number046001
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan 27
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. OISE-1545857 and National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korea government (MSIT) under Grant No. 2020R1A2C2005252. The authors are grateful to Roni Barak Ventura and Agnieszka Truszkowska for their help with experiments and useful discussion.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Physical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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