Novel sulfonated polysulfone ion exchange membranes for ionic polymer-metal composite actuators

Yongjun Tang, Zhigang Xue, Xingping Zhou, Xiaolin Xie, Chak Yin Tang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


A series of sulfonated polysulfone (SPSU) membranes with different degrees of sulfonation were prepared for fabricating cost-effective and high-performance ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) actuators. The experimental results show that the ion exchange capacity and water uptake of SPSU membranes increase with increasing their degree of sulfonation, and the proton conductivities of these hydrated membranes are subsequently enhanced. Compared with the commercial Nafion 117 ion exchange membrane, these SPSU membranes have higher ion exchange capacity and water uptake ability. Furthermore, the higher molecular rigidity of the SPSU membranes leads to higher tensile moduli in both dry and wet states than the Nafion membrane. The IPMC actuators made of the SPSU membranes demonstrate the large bending strain, fast response and excellent fatigue resistance under electric stimulation. Their electromechanical behaviors can be controlled by adjusting the sulfonation level of the SPSU ion exchange membranes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1174
Number of pages11
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2014


  • Actuators
  • Ion exchange capacity (IEC)
  • Ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC)
  • Sulfonated polysulfone (SPSU)
  • Sulfonation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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