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Full polymer dielectric elastomeric actuators (DEA) functionalised with carbon nanotubes and high-K ceramics

: Köckritz, Tilo; Luther, René; Paschew, Georgi; Jansen, Irene; Richter, Andreas; Jost, Oliver; Schönecker, Andreas; Beyer, Eckhard

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Micromachines 7 (2016), No.10, Art. 172, 15 pp.
ISSN: 2072-666X
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF
13 N. 10660; Candela
Composite based new dielectric elastomer actuators
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IWS ()
Fraunhofer IKTS ()
electroactive polymers; sensors; actuators; conductive polymers; technologies for polymeric microsystems; full polymer actuator; electromechanical characterization; polydimethylsiloxane

Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) are special devices which have a simple working and construction principle and outstanding actuation properties. The DEAs consist of a combination of different materials for the dielectric and electrode layers. The combination of these layers causes incompatibilities in their interconnections. Dramatic differences in the mechanical properties and bad adhesion of the layers are the principal causes for the reduction of the actuation displacement and strong reduction of lifetime. Common DEAs achieve actuation displacements of 2% and a durability of some million cycles. The following investigations represent a new approach to solving the problems of common systems. The investigated DEA consists of only one basic raw polymer, which was modified according to the required demands of each layer. The basic raw polymer was modified with single-walled carbon nanotubes or high-k ceramics, for example, lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate. The development of the full polymer DEA comprised the development of materials and technologies to realise a reproducible layer composition. It was proven that the full polymer actuator worked according to the theoretical rules. The investigated system achieved actuation displacements above 20% regarding thickness, outstanding interconnections at each layer without any failures, and durability above 3 million cycles without any indication of an impending malfunction.