9 April 2013 Multilayer stack actuator made from new prestrain-free dielectric elastomers
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The best performing dielectric elastomer materials reported thus far are commercial products manufactured for applications unrelated to electro-mechanical transduction. Prestretching is commonly employed to obtain high actuation strain and energy density. The limited knowledge of the polymers’ chemical structure makes it difficult to re-formulate the polymers for significantly improved overall material performance. We report the synthesis of new acrylate-based dielectric elastomers that exhibit high actuation strain without prestretching. Mixtures of commercial acrylate monomers and other additives are copolymerized by UV-initiated radical polymerization to form thin dielectric elastomer membranes. This processing can readily be scaled up to fabricate multi-layer stacked actuators with 11% linear actuation strain.
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Xiaofan Niu, Xiaofan Niu, Ruby Leo, Ruby Leo, Dustin Chen, Dustin Chen, Wei Hu, Wei Hu, Qibing Pei, Qibing Pei, } "Multilayer stack actuator made from new prestrain-free dielectric elastomers", Proc. SPIE 8687, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013, 86871M (9 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2009561; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2009561

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