Fast actuation of conducting polymer trilayers has been achieved by reducing the thickness of the device to as little as 6 μm. Reducing size also reduces force and displacement. Here the tradeoffs between speed of response, force and deformation angle are explored, and related to an example application – a tactile feedback interface that aims to make use of the very high sensitivity of our fingertip skin to vibrations of about 150 Hz. In general, the actuation rate in these devices is limited by the speed of charging, and by inertia. Here we use an established transmission line model to simulate charging speed. By making use of the empirical relationship between strain and charge, and using beam bending theory, the extent of charging enables estimation of the degree of actuator deformation and the forces that can be generated. In seeking to achieve non-resonant actuation at frequencies of 150 Hz or more, while also generating the forces and displacements needed for tactile stimulation, it is found that electronic and ionic conductivities of the conducting polymer electrodes needs to be on the order of 24,000 S/m and 0.04 S/m, respectively. These values along with the required dimensions appear to be feasible.
Saeedeh Ebrahimi Takalloo, Hasti Seifi, and John D. W. Madden, "Design of ultra-thin high frequency trilayer conducting polymer micro-actuators for tactile feedback interfaces," Proc. SPIE 10163, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017, 1016312 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 28, 2017; Published: 25 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262269.
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