Solvent-Free Synthesis and Processing of Conductive Elastomer Composites for Green Dielectric Elastomer Transducers

Patrick M. Danner, Mihail Iacob, Giacomo Sasso, Iurii Burda, Bernhard Rieger, Frank Nüesch, Dorina M. Opris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stretchable electrodes are more suitable for dielectric elastomer transducers (DET) the closer the mechanical characteristics of the electrodes and elastomer are. Here, a solvent-free synthesis and processing of conductive composites with excellent electrical and mechanical properties for transducers are presented. The composites are prepared by in situ polymerization of cyclosiloxane monomers in the presence of graphene nanoplatelets. The low viscosity of the monomer allows for easy dispersion of the filler, eliminating the need for a solvent. After the polymerization, a cross-linking agent is added at room temperature, the composite is solvent-free screen-printed, and the cross-linking reaction is initiated by heating. The best material shows conductivity σ = 8.2 S cm–1, Young's modulus Y10% = 167 kPa, and strain at break s = 305%. The electrode withstands large strains without delamination, shows no conductivity losses during repeated operation for 500 000 cycles, and has an excellent recovery of electrical properties upon being stretched at strains of up to 180%. Reliable prototype capacitive sensors and stack actuators are manufactured by screen-printing the conductive composite on the dielectric film. Stack actuators manufactured from dielectric and conductive materials that are synthesized solvent-free are demonstrated. The stack actuators even self-repair after a breakdown event.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100823
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • conductive rubbers
  • dielectric elastomer transducers
  • graphene composites
  • green manufacturing
  • sensors
  • stack actuators
  • stretchable electrodes

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