Tunable grating with active feedback
We report on the use of capacitive self-sensing to operate a DEA-based tunable grating in closed-loop mode. Due to their large strain capabilities, DEAs are key candidates for tunable optics applications. However, the viscoelasticity of elastomers is detrimental for applications that require long-term stability, such as tunable gratings and lenses. We show that capacitive sensing of the electrode strain can be used to suppress the strain drift and increase the response speed of silicone-based actuators. On the other hand, VHB actuators exhibit a time-dependent permittivity, which causes a drift between the device capacitance and its strain.