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Asian Journal of Scientific Research
Year: 2014  |  Volume: 7  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 262 - 272

A Green Approach to Electromechanical Actuation Based on Lotus Leaf-inspired Nanocomposite Hydrogels

Viveka Kalidasan, Sruthi Sreekumar and Meera Parthasarathy    

Abstract: Carbon nanotube composite hydrogels are interesting candidates for applications like flexible conductors, actuators and artificial muscles owing to their favorable characteristics such as ease of functionalization, propensity to modulate the interfacial characteristics of the hydrogels and tunable electrical conductivity. Here we report the preparation, characterization and electromechanical actuation properties of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotube/polyacrylamide (MWNT/PAM) composite hydrogels. Various amounts of MWNTs (0.002, 0.005 and 0.01 wt%) have been introduced into polyarylamide (PAM) gel matrix by in situ polymerization of acrylamide/bisacrylamide mixture in presence of MWNTs. The effect of various parameters such as nanotube content, method of drying (vacuum drying and freeze drying) and partial hydrolysis of the composite hydrogels have been investigated by following water-uptake and electro-response behavior, scanning electron microscopy and contact angle measurements.

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