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The authors reported on the first ion-implanted dielectric electroactive polymer actuator that was successfully microfabricated and tested. Ion implantation is used to make the surface of the polymer locally conducting. Implanting the compliant electrodes solves the problem of how to microfabricate patterned electrodes having elasticity close to that of the insulating elastomer. Dieletric EAP actuators combine in an exceptional way high energy-density, while allowing large amplitude displacements (Ashley, 2003 and Pelrine et al., 2000). The ion-implant approach avoids the deposition of metal electrodes on the polymer, normally accompanied with an undesired stiffening of the membrane. The actuator consists of a 35-μm thick ion implanted PDMS membrane bonded to a silicon chip containing a hole. 110-μm vertical displacements of a square membrane measuring 1 mm2 was observed.
Date of Conference: 5-9 June 2005