Ion-implanted compliant electrodes used in dielectric electroactive polymer actuators with large displacement
Metal ion implantation is shown here as an effective technique to fabricate highly compliant electrodes at room temperature on polymer substrates. By implanting 5 keV gold ions in polydimethylsiloxane we have fabricated micron-scale electrodes that conduct at 175% strain, have low surface resistance (< 1 k Omega/square) and negligible thickness (50 nm). These electrodes have been cycled over 10(5) times to 30% strain with minimal change in electrical characteristics, and find applications in flexible electronics, polymer sensors and actuators. Using these ion-implanted electrodes, we have fabricated arrays of mm-size dielectric electroactive polymer actuators capable of out-of-plane deflection up to 25% with excellent stability.