A theory of polar dielectric elastomers

Polar dielectric elastomers (PDEs) are electrically insulating soft materials where polar groups are chemically incorporated into material microstructures. These materials are pretty new and show promising applications, especially for low-electric-field driving soft robotics and devices, to name a few.

Caption: A schematic showing the microstructure of a polymer network with polar groups.

One prominent feature of PDEs is the dielectric permittivity enhancement effect of polar groups. In one of my recent papers, a mathematical formulation is proposed to shed light on the physical insight of the effect of polar groups. It is found that the effective dielectric constant is propotional to the fraction of polar groups per polymer chain in PDEs. Based on the finding, a concept called "dielectric imperfection" is proposed under the assumption of inhomogeneous distribution of polar groups in PDEs. A thorough discussion is given in the paper.

Reference: Effect of dielectric imperfections on the electroactive deformations of polar dielectric elastomers (Herein, I thank Prof. Liu for the funding support to finish this paper and the other three projects)

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