But the thickness mode actuation has not been explored enough to understand how the deformations can be improved without altering the material properties; which is often accompanied with increased cost and a trade off with other closely associated material properties. We have shown the effect of dimensions of active region and non-active region in manipulating the out-of-plane deformation. Making use of this, we have been able to demonstrate large area devices and complex patterns on the passive top layer for the surface texture change on-demand applications. We have also been able to demonstrate on-demand microfluidic channels and micro-chambers without the need of actually fabricating the channels; which is a cost incurring and cumbersome process.
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Ankit Ankit, Anh Chien Nguyen, Nripan Mathews, "Surface texture change on-demand and microfluidic devices based on thickness mode actuation of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs)," Proc. SPIE 10163, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017, 101632G (17 April 2017);