NSTI Nanotech 2009

Energy Harvesting using Ionic Polymer Metal Composites

R. Tiwari, K.J. Kim
University of Nevada, Reno, US

Keywords: energy harvesting, vibration, composites, Nafion


Recent advancements in wireless technology have imposed demands on the available battery technology, which has not developed equally. Besides, to cope with the portability of the wireless networks there is a need to tap into the ambient sources of energy. Thus vibration based energy harvesters have gained momentum. The ability of an electroactive polymer, IPMC (Ionic Polymer Metal Composites,) to produce electric charge under mechanical deformations may be exploited for the development of next generation of energy harvesters. Tests are conducted to capture IPMC voltage produced under three different loading conditions: bending, extension and shear. In case of bending and extension one end of the IPMC is constrained and both ends are constrained for shear mode. The sample was tested under dynamic conditions, produced through programmed shaking. In order to evaluate the potential of IPMC for dry condition, these samples were treated with ionic liquid. Similar to bending, shear causes the temporary increase in charge concentration on compressed side and decrease in concentration on extended side leading to the motion of charge inside the membrane. In extension mode, due to the stretching of polymer chain inside IPMC, a redistribution of ions inside the pendent causes the production of electric field.
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