Issue 1, 2017

Silicone elastomers with covalently incorporated aromatic voltage stabilisers


When optimising dielectric elastomers (DEs) a conflict exists, namely that for large achievable actuation strains softness is required, but with increased softness electrical breakdown strength decreases. Herein, soft dielectric silicone elastomers with increased electrical breakdown strength, due to the incorporation of an aromatic voltage stabiliser, were prepared by cross-linking synthesised polydimethylsiloxane–polyphenylmethylsiloxane (PDMS–PPMS) copolymers. PPMS possesses voltage stabilisation capabilities but is immiscible in PDMS, and thus the copolymerisation of the two components was necessary for homogeneity. Concentrations of the voltage stabiliser were varied by changing the molecular weights of the PPMS in the copolymer. The developed elastomers were inherently soft with enhanced electrical breakdown strengths, due to delocalised π-electrons of the aromatic constituent. An optimum concentration was found for the voltage stabilisation effect. The relative permittivities of the PDMS–PPMS elastomers varied from 3.4 to 3.9 and therefore were also improved from pure PDMS elastomers. The elastomers were furthermore non-conductive and possessed low dielectric losses. These properties are evaluated as favourable for soft actuation.

Graphical abstract: Silicone elastomers with covalently incorporated aromatic voltage stabilisers

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
26 Oct 2016
13 Nov 2016
First published
03 Jan 2017
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

RSC Adv., 2017,7, 468-477

Silicone elastomers with covalently incorporated aromatic voltage stabilisers

A. H. A. Razak and A. L. Skov, RSC Adv., 2017, 7, 468 DOI: 10.1039/C6RA25878F

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