Abstract

Electromotility, i.e. bending in response to an electric field, of polyelectrolyte gels in ionic solutions has recently been investigated at a few leading academic and industrial labs as a potential chemomechanical engine. We have discovered that the underlying physics in these systems is more complex than previously believed. We have found that the bending, which seems to obey a {t power law, is inconsistent with the simple idea of a bending speed, but is consistent with a diffusion mechanism. Evidence of diffusion was independently provided by experiments on gels grown or bent in the presence of dyes. We have explored the effect of varying poly-ion concentration in the backbone and in the surrounding medium. We have discovered that in some cases, the electromotility cannot be described as simple bending.

Disciplines

Physics

Included in

Physics Commons

Share

COinS