Electric field concentration in hydrogel-elastomer devices

Justina Vaicekauskaite, Canhui Yang, Anne Ladegaard Skov*, Zhigang Suo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Hydrogels and elastomers are being integrated to make stretchable, transparent, electromechanical devices. In such a device, a dielectric elastomer functions as an electric insulator, and a salt-containing hydrogel functions as an electric conductor. Here we report several experimental observations associated with electric field concentration along the edges of the hydrogels. We apply cyclic voltage to a large number of samples, and record the numbers of cycles when the elastomer suffers electric breakdown. In most samples, the elastomer breaks down at the edges of the hydrogels. Before the elastomer breaks down, we observe salting out, localized heating, and plasma along the edges of the hydrogels. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the concentrated electric field at the edges of the hydrogels breaks down the air when the elastomer is intact. Remarkably, the breakdown of air makes the electric field less concentrated, and protects the elastomer. When the sample is coated with an elastomer, air no longer breaks down, but the elastomer breaks down at a reduced applied voltage. We discuss the significance of these observations in applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100597
JournalExtreme Mechanics Letters
ISSN2352-4316
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

Keywords

  • Hydrogel-elastomer devices
  • Dielectric elastomers
  • Hydrogels
  • Electric field concentration
  • Localized heating
  • Salting out

Cite this

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title = "Electric field concentration in hydrogel-elastomer devices",
abstract = "Hydrogels and elastomers are being integrated to make stretchable, transparent, electromechanical devices. In such a device, a dielectric elastomer functions as an electric insulator, and a salt-containing hydrogel functions as an electric conductor. Here we report several experimental observations associated with electric field concentration along the edges of the hydrogels. We apply cyclic voltage to a large number of samples, and record the numbers of cycles when the elastomer suffers electric breakdown. In most samples, the elastomer breaks down at the edges of the hydrogels. Before the elastomer breaks down, we observe salting out, localized heating, and plasma along the edges of the hydrogels. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the concentrated electric field at the edges of the hydrogels breaks down the air when the elastomer is intact. Remarkably, the breakdown of air makes the electric field less concentrated, and protects the elastomer. When the sample is coated with an elastomer, air no longer breaks down, but the elastomer breaks down at a reduced applied voltage. We discuss the significance of these observations in applications.",
keywords = "Hydrogel-elastomer devices, Dielectric elastomers, Hydrogels, Electric field concentration, Localized heating, Salting out",
author = "Justina Vaicekauskaite and Canhui Yang and Skov, {Anne Ladegaard} and Zhigang Suo",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1016/j.eml.2019.100597",
language = "English",
journal = "Extreme Mechanics Letters",
issn = "2352-4316",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Electric field concentration in hydrogel-elastomer devices. / Vaicekauskaite, Justina; Yang, Canhui; Skov, Anne Ladegaard; Suo, Zhigang.

In: Extreme Mechanics Letters, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Electric field concentration in hydrogel-elastomer devices

AU - Vaicekauskaite, Justina

AU - Yang, Canhui

AU - Skov, Anne Ladegaard

AU - Suo, Zhigang

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Hydrogels and elastomers are being integrated to make stretchable, transparent, electromechanical devices. In such a device, a dielectric elastomer functions as an electric insulator, and a salt-containing hydrogel functions as an electric conductor. Here we report several experimental observations associated with electric field concentration along the edges of the hydrogels. We apply cyclic voltage to a large number of samples, and record the numbers of cycles when the elastomer suffers electric breakdown. In most samples, the elastomer breaks down at the edges of the hydrogels. Before the elastomer breaks down, we observe salting out, localized heating, and plasma along the edges of the hydrogels. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the concentrated electric field at the edges of the hydrogels breaks down the air when the elastomer is intact. Remarkably, the breakdown of air makes the electric field less concentrated, and protects the elastomer. When the sample is coated with an elastomer, air no longer breaks down, but the elastomer breaks down at a reduced applied voltage. We discuss the significance of these observations in applications.

AB - Hydrogels and elastomers are being integrated to make stretchable, transparent, electromechanical devices. In such a device, a dielectric elastomer functions as an electric insulator, and a salt-containing hydrogel functions as an electric conductor. Here we report several experimental observations associated with electric field concentration along the edges of the hydrogels. We apply cyclic voltage to a large number of samples, and record the numbers of cycles when the elastomer suffers electric breakdown. In most samples, the elastomer breaks down at the edges of the hydrogels. Before the elastomer breaks down, we observe salting out, localized heating, and plasma along the edges of the hydrogels. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the concentrated electric field at the edges of the hydrogels breaks down the air when the elastomer is intact. Remarkably, the breakdown of air makes the electric field less concentrated, and protects the elastomer. When the sample is coated with an elastomer, air no longer breaks down, but the elastomer breaks down at a reduced applied voltage. We discuss the significance of these observations in applications.

KW - Hydrogel-elastomer devices

KW - Dielectric elastomers

KW - Hydrogels

KW - Electric field concentration

KW - Localized heating

KW - Salting out

U2 - 10.1016/j.eml.2019.100597

DO - 10.1016/j.eml.2019.100597

M3 - Journal article

JO - Extreme Mechanics Letters

JF - Extreme Mechanics Letters

SN - 2352-4316

M1 - 100597

ER -