Large-strain, rigid-to-rigid deformation of bistable electroactive polymers

Zhibin Yu; Wei Yuan; Brochu, Paul; Bin Chen; Zhitian Liu; Qibing Pei
November 2009
Applied Physics Letters;11/9/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 19, p192904
Academic Journal
Thermoplastic poly(tert-butyl acrylate) (PTBA) is reported as an electroactive polymer that is rigid at ambient conditions and turns into a dielectric elastomer above a transition temperature. In the rubbery state, a PTBA thin film can be electrically actuated to strains up to 335% in area expansion. The calculated actuation pressure is 3.2 MPa. The actuation is made bistable by cooling to below glass transition temperature. The PTBA represents the bistable electroactive polymer (BSEP) that can be actuated to various largely strained, rigid shapes. The application of the BSEP for refreshable Braille display, an active tactile display, is also demonstrated.


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