Low-voltage dielectric elastomer actuators with stretchable electrodes fabricated by supersonic cluster beam implantation

Silvia Taccola, Andrea Bellacicca, Paolo Milani, Lucia Beccai, Francesco Greco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Supersonic cluster beam implantation of Ag nanoparticles is proposed for the fabrication of stretchable and compliant electrodes for dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) with reduced thickness. Thanks to the low-energy and finely tunable implantation process, a nanocomposite Ag/polydimethylsiloxane electrode layer is produced with a moderate stiffening effect for the DEA in contrast with a common deposition strategy for electrodes. Thin DEAs with an overall thickness of 17 μm were fabricated and tested under different preloading conditions, demonstrating a max uniaxial actuation strain of 2.5% at an actuation voltage of 765 V, lower than the typical voltage values of DEAs. The electrodes remained conductive up to 40% strain, and they fully recovered the original resistance after 70% stretching. Our results represent a significant step towards the development of DEAs operating at reduced actuation voltages, by stacking of micrometer-thick elastomer films, paving the way to novel applications in soft robotics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number064901
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume124
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Nanoparticles
  • Electrical properties
  • Robotics
  • Polymer
  • smart materials
  • Thin films
  • supersonic flow
  • Composite materials
  • stretchable conductor
  • Nanocomposite

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