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Mechanisms of Dielectric Elastomers and Its Applications

Sybil Nelson*

Department of Metallurgical and Material Science Engineering, Yunnan Normal University, Yunnan Province, China

*Corresponding Author:
Sybil Nelson
Department of Metallurgical and Material Science Engineering, Yunnan Normal University, Yunnan Province, China

Received: 30-Nov-2022, Manuscript No. JOMS-22-71532; Editor assigned: 02-Dec-2022, PreQC No. JOMS-22-71532 (PQ); Reviewed: 16-Dec-2022, QC No. JOMS-22-71532; Revised: 23-Dec-2022, Manuscript No. JOMS-22-71532 (R); Published: 30-Dec-2022, DOI: 10.4172/2321-6212.10.S4.003

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DEs are intelligent material systems that generate significant strains. They are a member of the Electroactive Polymers (EAP) class. In DE Actuators (DEA), electrical energy is converted to mechanical work. They have a high elastic energy density and are lightweight. Since the late 1990s, there have been inquiries into them. There are a lot of prototype uses. Conferences are held annually in the US and Europe. Dielectric elastomer actuators function by coating an elastomeric layer with electrodes on both sides. A circuit is connected to the electrodes. The electrostatic pressure operates by applying a voltage. The elastomer film compresses in the thickness direction and expands in the film plane directions as a result of mechanical compression. When it is shorted out, the elastomer film returns to its starting position.


Ionic transport can take the place of electron transport when soft hydrogels are used in place of the electrodes. Despite the fact that electrolysis starts to occur at less than 1.5 volts, aqueous ionic hydrogels can deliver potentials of many kilovolts. The potential across the dielectric can be millions of times higher than that across the double layer due to the difference in capacitance between the double layer and the dielectric. Without electrochemically degrading the hydrogel, kilovolt potentials can be achieved.

Deformations can operate at high frequencies and are well-controlled, reversible, and reversible. Devices made as a result may be completely transparent. It's feasible to actuate at high frequencies. The only factor limiting switching rates is mechanical inertia. The rigidity of the hydrogel may be thousands of times lower than that of the dielectric, enabling mechanically unrestricted actuation at millisecond speeds over a range of almost 100%. Biocompatibility is a possibility.

The hydrogels' tendency to dry out, ionic buildup, hysteresis, and electrical shorting are still problems. Ionic conductors were used in early semiconductor device research tests to study field modulation of silicon contact potentials and to create the first solid-state amplifiers. Electrolyte gate electrodes have been shown useful through research since 2000. Graphene transistors with great performance and stretchability can also include components made of ionic gels.


Early choices for DEA electrodes included grease filled with carbon black or films of carbon powder. Such materials are unreliable and cannot be produced using conventional production methods. Liquid metal, graphene sheets, carbon nanotube coatings, surface-implanted layers of metallic nanoclusters, and corrugated or patterned metal films are some examples of materials that can improve properties. Limited mechanical properties, sheet resistances, quick switching times, and simple integration are available with these solutions. Others include silicones and acrylic elastomers.

The material should have a low modulus of elasticity, a high dielectric constant, and high electrical breakdown strength (particularly when huge strains are required). The elastomer layer may be mechanically prestretched in order to increase the electrical breakdown strength. Pre-stretching is also done to avoid compressive stresses in the film plane directions and because film thickness reduces, which necessitates a lower voltage to maintain the same electrostatic pressure. Visco-hyperelastic behaviour is displayed by the elastomers. For the calculation of such actuators, viscoelasticity and massive strain models are necessary.

Graphite powder, silicone oil/graphite combinations, and gold electrodes are among the materials employed in research. The electrode needs to be compliant and conductible. Compliance is crucial to preventing mechanical constraint of the elastomer during elongation. Electrodes can be swapped out for polyacrylamide hydrogel films that can be bonded onto dielectric surfaces. Both natural rubber and silicone-based DEs (PDMS) are potential research areas. For strains <15%, natural rubber-based DEs have advantages over VHB (acrylic elastomer)-based DEs in terms of quick response times and efficiency.