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Title: Saddle-like deformation in a dielectric elastomer actuator embedded with liquid-phase gallium-indium electrodes

We introduce a dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) composed of liquid-phase Gallium-Indium (GaIn) alloy electrodes embedded between layers of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) and examine its mechanics using a specialized elastic shell theory. Residual stresses in the dielectric and sealing layers of PDMS cause the DEA to deform into a saddle-like geometry (Gaussian curvature K<0). Applying voltage Φ to the liquid metal electrodes induces electrostatic pressure (Maxwell stress) on the dielectric and relieves some of the residual stress. This reduces the longitudinal bending curvature and corresponding angle of deflection ϑ. Treating the elastomer as an incompressible, isotropic, NeoHookean solid, we develop a theory based on the principle of minimum potential energy to predict the principal curvatures as a function of Φ. Based on this theory, we predict a dependency of ϑ on Φ that is in strong agreement with experimental measurements performed on a GaIn-PDMS composite. By accurately modeling electromechanical coupling in a soft-matter DEA, this theory can inform improvements in design and fabrication.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213 (United States)
  2. (United States)
  3. DICAM, Department of Mechanical, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Trento, via Mesiano 77 38123 Trento (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22305807
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 116; Journal Issue: 14; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; BINARY ALLOY SYSTEMS; COUPLING; DIELECTRIC MATERIALS; ELASTOMERS; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ELECTRODES; FABRICATION; GAIN; GALLIUM COMPOUNDS; INDIUM COMPOUNDS; LAYERS; LIQUID METALS; RESIDUAL STRESSES; SIMULATION