Application of stochastic system identification to the study of the compliance of electroactive polymers

Pillai, Priam V.; Hunter, Ian W.; Hernandez, Emanuel
February 2011
Review of Scientific Instruments;Feb2011, Vol. 82 Issue 2, p025103
Academic Journal
Electroactive polymers have shown promising applications as transducers that can mimic biological muscle. The modulus or the compliance of many of these devices can change significantly as they are actuated making these materials attractive for applications that require tunable stiffness. We have developed a dynamic mechanical analyzer that is capable of making in situ measurements of the dynamic compliance transfer function of conducting polymers as a function of an electrochemical stimulus. We do this by simultaneously applying a stochastic stress waveform over a potential waveform and calculating the compliance as it changes over the course of electrochemical excitation. Using these signals we can calculate the compliance transfer function between 0.1 and 100 Hz and the impulse response function with up to 3% variation in its parameters. These functions are then computed as charge is injected into the polymer and it is shown that the low frequency gain of the transfer function can change by 30%-40% in the electrochemical system tested.


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