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Electroactive-paper actuator made with cellulose/NaOH/urea and sodium alginate

Kim, Jaehwan, Wang, Niangui, Chen, Yi, Lee, Sun-Kon, Yun, Gyu-Young
Cellulose 2007 v.14 no.3 pp. 217-223
aqueous solutions, biodegradability, cellulose, cellulosic fibers, drying, electrodes, gold, humidity, paper, sodium alginate, sodium hydroxide, urea
In an earlier work we reported the discovery of cellulose as a smart material that can be used in sensors and actuators. While the cellulose-based Electro-Active Paper (EAPap) actuator has many merits - lightweight, dry condition, biodegradability, sustainability, large displacement output and low actuation voltage - its performance is sensitive to humidity. We report here on an EAPap made with a cellulose and sodium alginate that produces its maximum displacement at a lower humidity level than the earlier one. To fabricate this EAPap, we dissolved cellulose fibers into a aqueous solution of NaOH/urea. Sodium alginate (0, 5 or 10% by weight) was then added to this cellulose solution. The solution was cast into a sheet and hydrolyzed to form a wet cellulose-sodium alginate blend film. After drying, a bending EAPap actuator was made by depositing thin gold electrodes on both sides of it. The performance of the EAPap actuator was then evaluated in terms of free displacement and blocked force with respect to the actuation frequency, activation voltage and content of sodium alginate. The actuation principle is also discussed.