Time-resolved mapping of water diffusion coefficients in a working soft actuator device

Leila Naji, John A. Chudek, Richard T. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Diffusion-weighted imaging was employed to spatially map the distribution of the diffusion coefficient of water, D, in bare, water-soaked, Li+-exchanged, cast Nafion and in an ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) soft actuator element, prepared from this bare Nafion by impregnation with Pt electrodes. D was evaluated in two orthogonal directions: along one of the long dimensions of the sample (D-x) and through its thickness (D-z). D-maps of the IPMC element were obtained both in the absence of an applied potential and in situ during the application of a 3 V dc potential across the thickness of the sample. In the bare Nafion, D-maps showed uniform values of both D-x and D-z of about 6 x 10-(10) m(2) s(-1). In the IPMC two effects were observed: (i) D at the electroded surfaces of the IPMC was higher than at the center of the sample; (ii) this difference was much greater in D-z than in D-x. Both effects were explained by the influence of the impregnated Pt electrodes on polymer structure. The D-maps in the electrochemical measurements showed high values of D (up to 8 x 10(-10) m(2) s(-1)) at the cathode and low values (from 1 x 10(-10) m(2) s(-1)) at the anode. This was explained in terms of the effect on the Nafion nanostructure of the forced electro-migration of Li(H2O)(x)(+) species toward the cathode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9761-9768
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2008


  • NMR
  • ION


Dive into the research topics of 'Time-resolved mapping of water diffusion coefficients in a working soft actuator device'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this