All-Solid-State Electro-Chemo-Mechanical Actuator Operating at Room Temperature

Evgeniy Makagon, Ellen Wachtel, Lothar Houben, Sidney R. Cohen, Yuanyuan Li, Junying Li, Anatoly I. Frenkel, Igor Lubomirsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dimensional change in a solid due to electrochemically driven compositional change is termed electro-chemo-mechanical (ECM) coupling. This effect causes mechanical instability in Li-ion batteries and solid oxide fuel cells. Nevertheless, it can generate considerable force and deformation, making it attractive for mechanical actuation. Here a Si-compatible ECM actuator in the form of a 2 mm diameter membrane is demonstrated. Actuation results from oxygen ion transfer between two 0.1 µm thick Ti oxide\Ce0.8Gd0.2O1.9 nanocomposite layers separated by a 1.5 µm thick Ce0.8Gd0.2O1.9 solid electrolyte. The chemical reaction responsible for stress generation is electrochemical oxidation/reduction in the composites. Under ambient conditions, application of 5 V DC produces actuator response within seconds, generating vertical displacement of several µm with calculated stress ≈3.5 MPa. The membrane actuator preserves its final mechanical state for more than 1 h following voltage removal. These characteristics uniquely suit ECM actuators for room temperature applications in Si-integrated microelectromechanical systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2006712
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 18 2021


  • actuation
  • chemo-mechanics
  • micro-electro-mechanical systems
  • oxygen-ion conductors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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