Fabrication of ionic-polymer-metal-composite (IPMC) micropump using a commercial Nafion

James Jungho Pak, Jihong Kim, Sang Woo Oh, Jee Hee Son, Sung Hwan Cho, Seung Ki Lee, Jong Yeon Park, Byungkyu Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the fabrication and characteristics of an ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) membrane-shaped micro-actuator and its application to the fabrication of a micro-pump. After fabricating two 8mm×8mm IPMC membrane-shaped actuators using a Nafion film, their displacements were measured. The fabricated IPMC membrane-shaped micro-actuators showed displacement of 14-̃27 μm at the applied voltage ranging from 4V P-P to 10V P-P at 0.5Hz. Displacement of the IPMC actuator fabricated with a commercially available Nafion is large enough to make the IPMC actuator a membrane-shaped micro-actuator for fabricating an IPMC micro-pump. IPMC micro-pump was fabricated by assembling IPMC membrane-shaped micro-actuator and PDMS(polydimethylsiloxane) micro-channel together. PDMS micro-channel was designed to have nozzle/diffuser structures which make the fluids flow from inlet to outlet when the IPMC membrane-shaped micro-actuator is deflected up and down by the applied voltages. The measured flow rate of the fabricated IPMC micro-pump was about 9.97 μl/min at 0.5Hz when the input voltage and duty ratio were 8V P-P and 50%, respectively. The test results illustrate that the fabricated IPMC micro-pump is suitable for pumping fluid through micro-channel on a PDMS substrate. Mechanical performances of beam-shaped and bridge-shaped conductive polymer actuator in aqueous solution and in solid electrolyte have been measured and analyzed. The optimum thickness of polypyrrole for the best bending performance is about 17-19 μm which has been polymerized at the current density of 5.4 μA/mm 2 for 120 minutes. For the application of conductive polymer actuator to a micropump, silicon bulk micromachining process has been combined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-280
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventSmart Structures and Materials 2004 - Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) - San Diego, CA, United Kingdom
Duration: 2004 Mar 152004 Mar 18


  • Actuator
  • Micropump
  • Parylene
  • Polypyrrole
  • Solid polymer electrolyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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