Highly flexible and transparent dielectric elastomer actuators using silver nanowire and carbon nanotube hybrid electrodes
We demonstrate a dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) with a high areal strain value of 146% using hybrid electrodes of silver nanowires (AgNWs) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). The addition of a very small amount of SWCNTs (∼35 ng mm−2) to a highly resistive AgNW network resulted in a remarkable reduction of the electrode sheet resistance by three orders, increasing the breakdown field by 183% and maximum strain, while maintaining the reduction of optical transmittance within 11%. The DEA based on our transparent and stretchable hybrid electrodes can be easily fabricated by a simple vacuum filtration and transfer process of the electrode film on a pre-strained dielectric elastomer membrane. We expect that our approach will be useful in the future for fabricating stretchable and transparent electrodes in various soft electronic devices.