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Proceedings Paper

Integration of dielectric elastomer stack actuators into micro systems
Author(s): Klaus Flittner; Michael Schlosser; Peter Lotz; Marc Matysek; Helmut F. Schlaak
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Paper Abstract

Using dielectric elastomer stack actuators the electrical contact to each conducting layer is a major concern. In order to integrate these actuators inside micro systems e.g. microfluidic systems compatibility to micro fabrication processes is required. The contact resistance and number of connected layers influence the overall actuator performance directly. Lower number of active electrodes decreases the generated deformation of the actuator. High contact resistance has a negative impact on the dynamic actuator behavior. For conventional interconnection processes with copper wires, the contact ratio is in the range of 60% to 80%, depending on the film thickness of the dielectric layer. Furthermore, this process is not compatible to standard micro fabrication technologies. In this paper we evaluate a process based on electroplating for connecting dielectric elastomer stack actuators and present a measurement system to characterize the number of connected layers. The performance of an electroplated contact is defined by the number of connected layers and the contact resistance between electroplated copper studs and graphite electrodes. It depends on different parameters like the cross sectional area of the electrode layers for connection and therefore on the layer thickness. Using multiple contacts instead of a single one the performance of the contact can also be positively influenced.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 April 2010
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7642, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010, 76422W (9 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.847473
Show Author Affiliations
Klaus Flittner, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Michael Schlosser, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Peter Lotz, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Marc Matysek, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Helmut F. Schlaak, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7642:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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