Fabricating Ionic/Polyimide Membranes


Fabricating Ionic/Polyimide Membranes



Invention Summary

This invention is related to a bottom-up solution-casting method to fabricate Nafion/Polyimide blend IPMCs to improve the mechanical and thermal properties of Nafion IMPC. Despite the superior mechanical properties and thermal stability, polyimide is intractable and therefore impossible to form polymer blends with Nafion. The current invention utilizes a soluble precursor of polyimide to make miscible blends with Nafion followed by chemical imidization to form Nafion/Polyimide blend. The invention also relates to the actuator applications of such blends. Improved mechanical and thermal properties are achieved with comparable actuating performances to Nafion IMPC.


Market Opportunity

Nafion has been the most most popular ionic polymer for ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC) actuators for its chemical resistance, high working temperature (up to 120 °C), and high ion conductivity. However, further development is critical to use ionic polymer systems in more severe conditions such as outer space utilization.  A development of new method to fabricate Nafion/Polyimide blend IPMCs with improved mechanical and thermal properties while maintaining electromechanical performances of Nation, by solution-casting Nafion/Poly(amic acid) blend followed by a thermal imidization.  Poly(amic acid) is a precursor to polyimide and is soluble in organic solvent such as N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone. This precursor approach enables the fabrication of otherwise unachievable blend membranes.


Features and Benefits

- There remains a need for ionic polymer-based IPMCs having improved thermal and mechanical properties. These needs are met by this invention.

- Advantage of reducing cost

- Easy to Fabricate

- Can be applied to solution process


Intellectual Property

Published International PCT Patent Application: No. WO 2018/026708



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Kegan Mcmullan
Licensing Manager
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Kwang Kim
Dong-Chan Lee
Tae Seon Hwang
Jungsoo Nam
Engineering & Manufacturing - Manufacturing
Engineering & Manufacturing - Sensors & Devices
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