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Proceedings Paper

Elastomer membrane actuators utilizing ultrathin metal electrodes
Author(s): Orion N. Scott; Hilary Bart-Smith; Matthew R. Begley; Michael H. Jones
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Paper Abstract

We prepare a thin (~100 μm) silicone-based elastomer membrane and sputter ultra-thin copper electrodes (16-192 nm) onto each side of the film. Voltages of varying magnitude (1-8 kV) are applied to the electrodes causing an electrostatic pressure to develop which then compresses the elastomer in the through thickness direction. The edges of the membrane are constrained against in-plane expansion, forcing the membrane to deform out of plane. The in-plane strains developed by applying an electric field are characterized by measuring the stiffness of the membrane via indentation at different applied voltages. Closed-form solutions for membrane deflection are used with the experimental measurements to determine the relationship between the modulus of the cracked electrode/elastomer multi-layer and the electrically induced in-plane strain. Analytical models predicting the relationship between electrode crack spacing, layer properties, and effective modulus of the multi-layer are presented. Building on the knowledge gained from the membrane experiments, uni- axial tension specimens of an electrode/elastomer multi-layer are tested and preliminary results discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 March 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6168, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), 61681P (22 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.658713
Show Author Affiliations
Orion N. Scott, Univ. of Virginia (United States)
Hilary Bart-Smith, Univ. of Virginia (United States)
Matthew R. Begley, Univ. of Virginia (United States)
Michael H. Jones, Univ. of Virginia (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6168:
Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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