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Reconfigurable shape-morphing dielectric elastomers using spatially varying electric fields.


ABSTRACT: Exceptionally large strains can be produced in soft elastomers by the application of an electric field and the strains can be exploited for a variety of novel actuators, such as tunable lenses and tactile actuators. However, shape morphing with dielectric elastomers has not been possible since no generalizable method for changing their Gaussian curvature has been devised. Here it is shown that this fundamental limitation can be lifted by introducing internal, spatially varying electric fields through a layer-by-layer fabrication method incorporating shaped, carbon-nanotubes-based electrodes between thin elastomer sheets. To illustrate the potential of the method, voltage-tunable negative and positive Gaussian curvatures shapes are produced. Furthermore, by applying voltages to different sets of internal electrodes, the shapes can be re-configured. All the shape changes are reversible when the voltage is removed.

SUBMITTER: Hajiesmaili E 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6331644 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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