(80d) Electroactive Polymer Films with Janus Particles as Mechanical Actuators

Authors: 
Chen, H., The City College of New York, City University of New York
Kretzschmar, I., The City College of New York, The City University of New York
Cui, J., The City College of New York, City University of New York
Maliakal, A., LGS Innovations


Dielectric elastomers (DEs) are polymers that contract by electrostatic attraction when they are exposed to electric fields. They present a potential new generation of actuators and sensors because they respond to electrical stimulation by significant deformation. The deformation, called compressive strain (Sz), experienced by DEs is expressed by the Maxwell equation: Sz = - (K εo E^2) / Y

In our research, we modify DEs with high dielectric constant (K) filler materials to achieve a higher strain (Sz) under a fixed electric field (E). Here, the filler material is prepared by coating polystyrene particles with gold on one hemisphere yielding Janus particles. Owing to the resulting heterogeneous structure, Janus particles carry a dipole moment. Our bulk material p(EGPEA) is loaded with varying amounts of Janus particle fillers. Further, DC field exposure during the curing period is used to align the Janus particles, resulting in the enhancement of the overall value of electrostrictive coefficient of the composite.

We will report on the fabrication and characterization of the DE composite and show the correlation between strain and electric field for both plain and composite DE samples obtained from a non-contact optical profiler. Preliminary data show that our composite materials exhibit a remarkable deformation (>10%).