Research ArticleSOFT ROBOTS

MXene artificial muscles based on ionically cross-linked Ti3C2Tx electrode for kinetic soft robotics

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Science Robotics  21 Aug 2019:
Vol. 4, Issue 33, eaaw7797
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aaw7797


Existing ionic artificial muscles still require a technology breakthrough for much faster response speed, higher bending strain, and longer durability. Here, we report an MXene artificial muscle based on ionically cross-linked Ti3C2Tx with poly(3,4 ethylenedioxythiophene)-poly(styrenesulfonate), showing ultrafast rise time of within 1 s in DC responses, extremely large bending strain up to 1.37% in very low input voltage regime (0.1 to 1 V), long-term cyclic stability of 97% up to 18,000 cycles, markedly reduced phase delay, and very broad frequency bandwidth up to 20 Hz with good structural reliability without delamination under continuous electrical stimuli. These artificial muscles were successfully applied to make an origami-inspired narcissus flower robot as a wearable brooch and dancing butterflies and leaves on a tree as a kinetic art piece. These successful demonstrations elucidate the wide potential of MXene-based soft actuators for the next-generation soft robotic devices including wearable electronics and kinetic art pieces.

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