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TitleDielectric Elastomer memory
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsO'Brien, B.M., McKay T.G., Xie S.Q., Calius E.P., and Anderson I.A.
Conference NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Date Published2011
KeywordsActuators, Artificial muscle, Biomimetics, Conducting polymers, DES, Dielectric elastomer, elasticity, Elastomers, Embedded systems, Flip flop circuits, Logic circuits, Memory, Oscillators (electronic), Plastics, Sentient material, Structural design, Switching circuits, Timing circuits
AbstractLife shows us that the distribution of intelligence throughout flexible muscular networks is a highly successful solution to a wide range of challenges, for example: human hearts, octopi, or even starfish. Recreating this success in engineered systems requires soft actuator technologies with embedded sensing and intelligence. Dielectric Elastomer Actuator(s) (DEA) are promising due to their large stresses and strains, as well as quiet flexible multimodal operation. Recently dielectric elastomer devices were presented with built in sensor, driver, and logic capability enabled by a new concept called the Dielectric Elastomer Switch(es) (DES). DES use electrode piezoresistivity to control the charge on DEA and enable the distribution of intelligence throughout a DEA device. In this paper we advance the capabilities of DES further to form volatile memory elements. A set reset flip-flop with inverted reset line was developed based on DES and DEA. With a 3200V supply the flip-flop behaved appropriately and demonstrated the creation of dielectric elastomer memory capable of changing state in response to 1 second long set and reset pulses. This memory opens up applications such as oscillator, de-bounce, timing, and sequential logic circuits; all of which could be distributed throughout biomimetic actuator arrays. Future work will include miniaturisation to improve response speed, implementation into more complex circuits, and investigation of longer lasting and more sensitive switching materials. © 2011 SPIE.

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