Performance characterization of miniaturized dielectric elastomer actuators fabricated using metal ion implantation
We report measurements of displacement and mechanical work for miniaturized Dielectric Elastomer Actuators (DEAs) whose compliant electrodes were fabricated using metal ion implantation. 20 to 30 μm thick Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membranes were bonded to silicon chips with through holes of diameter 2 to 3 mm and were implanted on both sides with gold ions. Out-of-plane deflection recorded as a function of voltage and applied mechanical distributed load was in very good agreement with an analytical model. Unloaded vertical displacements up to 7% of the membrane's diameter were recorded and mechanical work up to 0.3 μJ was obtained with an applied pressure of 1 kPa. This performance data and associated model allow such miniaturized polymer actuators to be efficiently dimensioned for different applications, for instance in micropumps and active optical devices.