Super soft silicone elastomers with high dielectric permittivity

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Dielectric elastomers (DEs) have many favourable properties. The obstacle of high driving voltages, however, limits the commercial viability of the technology at present. Driving voltage can be lowered by decreasing the Young’s modulus and increasing the dielectric permittivity of silicone elastomers. A decrease in Young’s modulus, however, is often accompanied by the loss of mechanical stability and thereby the lifetime of the DE. New soft elastomer matrices with high dielectric permittivity and low Young’s modulus, with no loss of mechanical stability, were prepared by two different approaches using chloropropyl-functional silicone polymers. The first approach was based on synthesised chloropropyl-functional copolymers that were cross-linkable and thereby formed the basis of new silicone networks with high dielectric permittivity (e.g. a 43% increase). These networks were soft without compromising other important properties of DEs such as viscous and dielectric losses as well as electrical breakdown strength. The second approach was based on the addition of commercially available chloropropyl-functional silicone oil to commercial LSR silicone elastomer. Two-fold increase in permittivity was obtained by this method and the silicone oil decreased the Young’s modulus significantly. The viscous losses, however, also increased with increasing content of silicone oil. Cross-linkable chloropropyl-functional copolymers offer a new silicone elastomer matrix that could form the basis of dielectric elastomers of the future, whereas the chloropropyl silicone oil approach is an easy tool for improvement of the properties of existing commercial silicone elastomers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2015
EditorsBar-Cohen Yoseph
Number of pages14
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2015
Article number94301D
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XVII - Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego, United States
Duration: 9 Mar 201512 Mar 2015
Conference number: 9430


ConferenceElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XVII
LocationTown & Country Resort and Convention Center
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
SeriesProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2015 Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic electronic or print reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • Elastomer
  • Silicone
  • Dielectric permittivity
  • Low dielectric loss
  • Low mechanical loss
  • Breakdown


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