Molecular Strategies for Improved Dielectric Elastomer Electrical Breakdown Strengths

Liyun Yu*, Anne L. Skov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Dielectric elastomer transducers (actuators and generators) possess greatcommercial potential because they allow for novel transducer designs andapplications due to—amongst others—their flexibility and low weight. Onthe other hand, the flexibility and inherent softness of dielectric elastomers also pose restrictions on their use, since the thin elastomers may undergo destructive deformations under large loads or in large electrical fields. In order to design better dielectric elastomers, it is crucial to understand the underlying phenomena of how thin and elastic dielectric elastomer films undergo electrical breakdown. This understanding will allow for the design of dielectric elastomers with high electrical breakdown strength and thus open up the use of films in transducers at higher electrical fields and forces. Here, the study couples intrinsic electrical breakdown strengths with well-described polymer and network characteristics, namely Kuhn parameters and crosslinking density. The universality of the developed model is illustrated by comparison over a wide range of silicone-based elastomers, such as prestretched elastomers and synthesized cross-linked bottlebrush polymers, representing both filled and unfilled elastomers. This study paves a robust way for the molecular design of elastomers into high-intrinsic electrical breakdown strength dielectric elastomers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1800383
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number16
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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