Slide-ring elastomers have garnered a lot of interest for their potential use in dielectric elastomer actuators due to their intrinsically soft nature and high elasticity. However, the use of sliding cross-linkers has been constrained by their low miscibility with commonly used elastomer precursors and the specialized curing chemistries that are necessary for incorporating them into networks. Here, we have presented a method to produce vinyl functional polyrotaxane cross-linkers that are compatible with polysiloxanes and can be processed by industrially scalable methods. The sliding silicone films that were fabricated with these novel cross-linkers were highly extensible (>350%) and did not exhibit strain hardening even at high elongation. The composite films also retained the favorable dielectric properties of silicone elastomers such as the characteristic low dielectric loss. The modified polyrotaxanes present a robust platform for producing a new class of sliding silicone elastomers with well-defined networks structures.
- Slide-ring elastomer
- Dielectric elastomer actuator