15 April 2016 Characterization of screen-printed electrodes for dielectric elastomer (DE) membranes: influence of screen dimensions and electrode thickness on actuator performance
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Abstract
Screen printing is used as a method for printing electrodes on silicone thin films for the fabrication of dielectric elastomer transducers (DET). This method can be used to manufacture a multitude of patternable designs for actuator and sensor applications, implementing the same method for prototyping as well as large-scale production. The fabrication of DETs does not only require the development of a flexible, highly conductive electrode material, which adheres to a stretched and unstretched silicone film, but also calls for a thorough understanding of the effects of the different printing parameters. This work studies the influence of screen dimensions (open area, mesh thickness) as well as the influence of multiple-layer- printing on the electrode stiffness, electrical resistance and capacitance as well as actuator performance. The investigation was conducted in a custom-built testing device, which enabled an electro-mechanical characterization of the DET, simultaneously measuring parameters such as strain, voltage, current, force, sheet resistance, capacitance and membrane thickness. Magnified pictures of the electrodes will additionally illustrate the effects of the different printing parameters.
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Bettina Fasolt, Micah Hodgins, Stefan Seelecke, "Characterization of screen-printed electrodes for dielectric elastomer (DE) membranes: influence of screen dimensions and electrode thickness on actuator performance", Proc. SPIE 9798, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2016, 97983E (15 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2222095; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2222095
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