Dielectric elastomer actuators are stretchable capacitors that elongate when charged. They are constructed from a thin elastic film coated with two compliant stretchable electrodes.
When a voltage is applied, the film is elongated perpendicular to the applied electric field. This process is reversible; after removal of the field, the elastomer relaxes back to its original form.
Our research aims at developing polysiloxane materials with increased permittivity and good elastic properties that are actuated at low electric fields.
For this purpose, polysiloxane are either chemically modified with polar groups or blended with polable or conductive nanoparticles