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Matrix stiffness dependent electro-mechanical response of dipole grafted silicones

: Kussmaul, B.; Risse, S.; Wegener, M.; Kofod, G.; Krüger, H.


Smart materials and structures : SMS 21 (2012), Nr.6, Art. 064005
ISSN: 0964-1726
ISSN: 1361-665X
Fraunhofer IAP ()

The properties of dielectric elastomer actuators can be optimized by modifying the dielectric or mechanical properties of the dielectric elastomer. This paper presents the simultaneous control of both dielectric and mechanical properties, in a silicone elastomer network comprising cross-linker, chains and grafted molecular dipoles. Chains with two different molecular weights were each combined with varying amounts of grafted dipole. Chemical and physical characterization showed that networks with stoichiometric control of cross-linking density and permittivity were obtained, and that longer chain lengths resulted in higher electrical field response due to the reduction in cross-linking density and correspondingly in mechanical stiffness. Both actuation sensitivities were enhanced by 6.3 and 4.6 times for the short and long chain matrix material, respectively.