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Issue 7, 2013
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Long lifetime, fault-tolerant freestanding actuators based on a silicone dielectric elastomer and self-clearing carbon nanotube compliant electrodes

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Abstract

We explore the effect of pre-stretch and application of mechanical loads on a soft polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer to obtain high linear strain freestanding dielectric elastomer actuators. It is shown that when the mechanical loads are properly applied, large linear actuation strains of 120% and work density of 0.5 J cm−3 can be obtained due to a transition from pure-biaxial to pure-uniaxial actuation conditions. Furthermore, we demonstrate that when coupled with single wall carbon nanotube (SWNT) compliant electrodes, fault-tolerance is introduced via self-clearing leading to significantly improved operational reliability. Cycling actuation tests reveal that even after more than 30 self-cleared electrical breakdown events the actuators maintain a high level of performance. Driven at moderate electric fields, the actuators display relatively high linear actuation strain (25%) without degradation of the electromechanical performance even after 85 000 cycles.

Graphical abstract: Long lifetime, fault-tolerant freestanding actuators based on a silicone dielectric elastomer and self-clearing carbon nanotube compliant electrodes

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Oct 2012, accepted on 27 Nov 2012 and first published on 02 Jan 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2RA22380E
RSC Adv., 2013,3, 2272-2278

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    Long lifetime, fault-tolerant freestanding actuators based on a silicone dielectric elastomer and self-clearing carbon nanotube compliant electrodes

    H. Stoyanov, P. Brochu, X. Niu, C. Lai, S. Yun and Q. Pei, RSC Adv., 2013, 3, 2272
    DOI: 10.1039/C2RA22380E

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