In this contribution, we report on the development of transparent and soft vibrotactile actuator array that can be utilized in the next-generation touch display panels. Explicitly, we believe that the actuator array can more efficiently be employed in rollable smart windows of a smart vehicle. The proposed actuator array mainly composed of dielectric elastomer layer and ionic conductors. In order to construct the proposed vibrotactile actuator array, the dielectric elastomer is sandwiched between two soft ionic hydrogels. The ionic hydrogels contract each other under the applied electric field because of electrostatic attraction. As a result, the dielectric elastomer is compressed in its thickness direction and expanded to the out-of-plane direction. When the applied electric field is removed, the dielectric elastomer and ionic conductors are recovered to its initial state by elastic restoring force. When the alternating electric signal is applied to this structure, it generates vibration. To construct 4 × 4 vibrotactile actuator array, four perpendicular stripes and four longitudinal stripes made of ionic conductors were put on/under the planar dielectric elastomer. The proposed actuator array generates the vibration in wide frequency range and strong vibration of about 0.8 g (g = 9.8 m/s2) at a resonant frequency was noticed. We demonstrated and confirmed that the vibration acceleration of each cell unit can be controlled by the input voltage (0.1 kV to 3.5 kV) and can be operated individually. The data indicate that the proposed vibrotactile actuator array could have utility in center fascia, deformable or transparent devices.
Seok-Han Lee, Dong-Soo Choi, Ganesh Shimoga, and Sang-Youn Kim, "Transparent and soft vibrotactile actuator array based on dielectric elastomer for smart vehicle (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 11378, Nano-, Bio-, Info-Tech Sensors, and 3D Systems IV, 113780H (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures + Nondestructive Evaluation: April 28, 2020; Published: 24 April 2020); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2563416.6151944853001.
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