Interest in soft actuating mechanism using by soft elastomeric materials is gradually growing for next-generation devices such as wearable electronics, haptic feedback systems, and soft robotics. However, for more practical and feasible applications in diverse devices, soft and flexible actuators require multi-functionalities. Here, we report the morphological variation of void-patterned dielectric elastomer actuators with mechanically stretchable AgNWs electrodes on elastomer surfaces, utilizing simple void-patterning process. In macroscopic view, the actuator showed one-directionally deformed actuation properties in pre-patterned void-direction. And, the ridges and vertices of the deformed surfaces were observed under the control of an input voltage to the elastomer haptic interface. In addition, the variation in the morphology of the stretchable electrodes deposited on elastomer film under various electrical input were verified by measuring the vertical displacement of the elastomeric actuator, showing the surface roughness, from 0 to 120 um along the void-direction. Also, the deformed-area can be controlled by AgNWs electrode patterning. The present study successfully demonstrated the elastomeric actuator performance under electrically controlled inputs, which were used to modulate the elastomeric surfaces with continuous roughness levels. These results reveals that the morphological variation of the flat surface can be applicable to haptic interface for regenerating surface texture.
Kiwoo Jun, Jongnam Kim, and Ilkwon Oh, "Surface morphology control of elastomeric actuator and their application," Proc. SPIE 10594, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XX, 1059420 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 08, 2018; Published: 27 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2296620.
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