10 April 2008 Enhancement of the electromechanical transduction properties of a silicone elastomer by blending with a conjugated polymer
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Abstract
The need for high driving electric fields currently limits the diffusion of dielectric elastomer actuation in some areas of potential application, especially in the case of biomedical disciplines. A reduction of the driving fields may be achieved with new elastomers offering intrinsically superior electromechanical properties. So far, most of attempts in this direction have been focused on composites between elastomer matrixes and high-permittivity ceramic fillers, yielding to limited results. In this work, the electromechanical response of a silicone rubber (poly-dimethyl-siloxane) was improved by blending, rather than loading, the elastomer with a highly polarizable conjugated polymer (undoped poly-hexyl-thiophene). Very low percentages (1-6 wt%) of poly-hexyl-thiophene yielded both an increase of the dielectric permittivity and an unexpected reduction of the tensile elastic modulus. Both these factors contributed to a remarkable increase of the electromechanical response, which reached a maximum at 1 wt% content of conjugated polymer. This approach may lead to the development of new types of improved dielectric elastomers for actuation.
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F. Carpi, G. Gallone, F. Galantini, D. De Rossi, "Enhancement of the electromechanical transduction properties of a silicone elastomer by blending with a conjugated polymer", Proc. SPIE 6927, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2008, 692707 (10 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.776641; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.776641
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