Interpenetrating Polymer Networks for High-Performance Electroelastomer Artificial Muscles


  • This work was financially supported in part by the Office of Naval Research, ONR Contract No. N00 014-05-C-0005, through SRI International. We thank Roy Kornbluh and Dr. Harsha Prahlad of SRI International for valuable discussions.


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New interpenetrating elastomeric networks have been prepared in which the high tension in the first network is balanced by the compression of the second network. The composite films exhibit high electrically induced strain without need for any external mechanical prestraining. Strains of up to 233% in terms of area expansion have been obtained at an electrical field of 300 MV m–1. These new electroelastomers may have applications as actuators (see figure) and artificial muscles.