A new class of all organic composites that change shape under an electric voltage may open the door for the manufacture of artificial muscles, smart skins, capacitors, and tiny drug pumps, according to Penn State researchers.
"Electroactive polymers have been around for a long time, but the energy input required for them to do enough work to be of value was very high," says Dr. Qiming Zhang, professor of electrical engineering. "With this new composite we have reduced the voltage to one tenth that previously needed."
The researchers report in todays ( Sept. 19 ) issue of the journal, Nature that a new class of composites, fabricated from an organic filler possessing very high dielectric constant dispersed in an electrostrictive polymer matrix, has much improved properties for the manufacture of actuators.
Andrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
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