Flexible and electroactive ionogel graphene composite actuator

Chao LU, Xi CHEN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Electrochemical actuators have attracted tremendous attention worldwide because of their critical significance to artificial intelligence. The development of electrochemical actuators-with the merits of low driven-voltage, lightweight, flexibility and large deformation-is an urgent task in the development of smart technologies. Nanomaterials with special structures and superior properties provide the opportunity for the development and application of smart actuators. Here, we report an electrochemical actuator based on an ionogel graphene composite, which is assembled with simple casting methodology and can be driven with a low voltage of 2.5 V. The flexible sandwich-structured actuator operates under a capacitive mechanism based on asymmetrical volume expansion of active ions under electrical stimulus. It shows a high specific capacitance of 39 F g-1 at current density of 1 A g-1 under potential of 2.5 V. The specific capacitance is calculated on the weight of graphene. The device presents a large actuation peak-to-peak displacement of 24 mm at a frequency of 0.1 Hz under the stimulus potential of 2.5 V, and it can still reach a large value of 12 mm at a high frequency of 1 Hz. The free length of the device is 25 mm. Notably, the device exhibits excellent air-working stability at frequency of 1 Hz under 2.5 V with the actuation displacement retention of 98%, even after 10,000 cycles. This study presents insights into the design of smart actuators based on nanomaterials, and will accelerate the development of artificial intelligence. © 2020 by the authors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number656
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This research received no external funding. This work was supported by the Earth Engineering Center, and Center for Advanced Materials for Energy and Environment at Columbia University.


  • Electroactive actuator
  • Flexible material
  • Ionogel graphene composite


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