Optimization Techniques for Improving the Performance of Silicone-Based Dielectric Elastomers

Anne Ladegaard Skov*, Liyun Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Dielectric elastomers are possible candidates for realizing products that are in high demand by society, such as soft robotics and prosthetics, tactile displays, and smart wearables. Diverse and advanced products based on dielectric elastomers are available; however, no elastomer has proven ideal for all types of products. Silicone elastomers, though, are the most promising type of elastomer when viewed from a reliability perspective, since in normal conditions they do not undergo any chemical degradation or mechanical ageing/relaxation. Within this review, different pathways for improving the electro-mechanical performance of dielectric elastomers are highlighted. Various optimization methods for improved energy transduction are investigated and discussed, with special emphasis placed on the promise each method holds. The compositing and blending of elastomers are shown to be simple, versatile methods that can solve a number of optimization issues. More complicated methods, involving chemical modification of the silicone backbone as well as controlling the network structure for improved mechanical properties, are shown to solve yet more issues. From the analysis, it is obvious that there is not a single optimization technique that will lead to the universal optimization of dielectric elastomer films, though each method may lead to elastomers with certain features, and thus certain potentials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1700762
JournalAdvanced Engineering Materials
Issue number5
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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