SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Korea Bizwire) –Korean scientists came up with a new artificial muscle that is more durable and has an effective operating period ten times longer than current artificial muscles. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said on August 6 that a research team led by Oh Il-kwon, Professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology published a research result on the technology.
The artificial muscle is an actuator that converts electrical energy into kinetic energy to create movements similar to those of actual muscle. The existing ionic-polymer artificial muscles resemble human muscles and have excellent output per volume, making them an ideal candidate for the replacement of mechanical motors and hydraulic systems.
But the artificial muscles have problems such as the internal electrolytes seeping through the cracks on the surface of the platinum electrode, making them less durable.
The research team solved these problems by changing the electrode from platinum to graphene, which is pure carbon in the form of a very thin, one-atom sheet. As the electrodes are made of carbon, they are lighter and easier to manufacture.
According to the research team, the softer actuator can have 2.7 times higher ionic conductivity and 3 times higher bendability. The researchers expected the new artificial muscle could be applicable to devices such as haptic electronic applications and next-generation displays, as well as biomimetic applications. Funded by the science ministry, the research was published in the American Chemical Society’s journal ACS Nano.
By Sean Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)