Strong and Robust Electrochemical Artificial Muscles by Ionic-Liquid-in-Nanofiber-Sheathed Carbon Nanotube Yarns

Ming Ren, Jian Qiao, Yulian Wang, Kunjie Wu, Lizhong Dong, Xiaofan Shen, Huichao Zhang, Wei Yang, Yulong Wu, Zhenzhong Yong, Wei Chen, Yongyi Zhang, Jiangtao Di, Qingwen Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


To address the lack of a suitable electrolyte that supports the stable operation of the electrochemical yarn muscles in air, an ionic-liquid-in-nanofibers sheathed carbon nanotube (CNT) yarn muscle is prepared. The nanofibers serve as a separator to avoid the short-circuiting of the yarns and a reservoir for ionic liquid. The ionic-liquid-in-nanofiber-sheathed yarn muscles are strong, providing an isometric stress of 10.8 MPa (about 31 times the skeletal muscles). The yarn muscles are highly robust, which can reversibly contract stably at such conditions as being knotted, wide-range humidity (30 to 90 RH%) and temperature (25 to 70 °C), and long-term cycling and storage in air. By utilizing the accumulated isometric stress, the yarn muscles achieve a high contraction rate of 36.3% s−1. The yarn muscles are tightly bundled to lift heavy weights and grasp objects. These unique features can make the strong and robust yarn muscles as a desirable actuation component for robotic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2006181
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2021


  • actuators
  • artificial muscles
  • carbon nanotubes
  • electrochemistry
  • ionic liquids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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