Fault-Tolerant Dielectric Elastomer Actuators using Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Electrodes


  • This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0507294 and DMR-0404029.


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Fault-tolerant actuators. Single-walled carbon nanotubes were studied as new compliant electrodes for dielectric elastomers. The spray-coated SWNT electrodes drive electromechanical strains greater than 200 %. When a fault is present due to pin puncture or internal defect in the elastomer films, dielectric breakdown causes localized self-clearing of the SWNT electrodes and isolation of the fault. The increased fault tolerance may enhance the actuation reliability of dielectric elastomers actuators.