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Study and development of ionic polymer/metal composites for application in actuators and sensors aiming low cost and high performance

Grant number: 18/09761-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2018
Effective date (End): November 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Carlos Henrique Scuracchio
Grantee:Roger Gonçalves
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Scientific and technological development is linked, among other things, to the search for increasingly weightless, cheaper and more durable functional materials. In addition, there is, due to the growing concern with the environment, the appeal for green technological solutions, that is, of low environmental impact. In this sense, bioinspiration can be a means of achieving such goals simply and efficiently. Regarding to bio-mimicry technologies, the natural muscles have long been the most targeted actuators as a source of inspiration, mainly because of their particular combination of speed, tension, pressure, low density and high efficiency. Some of these properties are inherent to electroactive polymers, being good candidates for artificial actuators. Among the devices based on this class of materials, the ionic polymer/metal composites are the most studied for application as actuators, because of their versatility, low weight and possibility of great deformation with low energy consumption. In addition, they can operate in drastic situations, making them very promising even for aerospace application. Although its application is extensive, there are a number of problems that need to be solved yet, which can be mentioned the use of noble metals as electrodes and, consequently, high price; the low operating longevity and the efficiency and durability dependent on the ambient conditions, especially the relative humidity of the air. In this context, the present project aims to research new technologies capable of solving the major problems that hinder the greater industrial application of these actuators. Strategies for this include replacing the metal electrodes with conductive rubbers based on styrene-butadiene random copolymer matrices and advanced carbon compounds as conductive additives and incorporating ionic liquid as device electrolyte, reducing dependence on environmental conditions. In addition, it is intended to increment both ion transport mechanisms and reliable electromechanical models. For this purpose, electrochemical, rheological and mechanical characterization will be required. In addition, mechanical-quantum simulations will be used for a more complete study of device behavior.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DOS SANTOS JUNIOR, T.; PEREIRA, I, C.; GONCALVES, R.; FERNANDES, C. H. M.; SALVINI, V. R.; PANDOLFELLI, V. C. Amino acid-driven hydrophobization of alumina and production of particle stabilised foams in a broader pH range. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, v. 40, n. 12, p. 4243-4252, SEP 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
SACCARDO, MATHEUS COLOVATI; ZUQUELLO, ARIEL GUSTAVO; TOZZI, KAIQUE AFONSO; GONCALVES, ROGER; HIRANO, LAOS ALEXANDRE; SCURACCHIO, CARLOS HENRIQUE. Counter-ion and humidity effects on electromechanical properties of Nafion (R)/Pt composites. Materials Chemistry and Physics, v. 244, APR 1 2020. Web of Science Citations: 1.
GONCALVES, R.; TOZZI, K. A.; SACCARDO, M. C.; ZUQUELLO, A. G.; SCURACCHIO, C. H. Nafion-based ionomeric polymer/metal composites operating in the air: theoretical and electrochemical analysis. Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry, v. 24, n. 8, SI FEB 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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