Student working on a research project.

Dielectric Elastomer Actuators

Dielectric Elastomer Actuators (DEAs) are a type of linear actuator that utilizes the Maxwell stress of separated charge to contract a mechanically compliant dielectric material. This project will seek to find ways to improve the electrode materials for these actuators by making and characterizing thin conductive rubber films. A literature search will be carried out to see what has already been published with regards to the characteristics of various rubbers and their conductive fillers, actuator failure modes, stress and strain, elasticity, tensile strength, etc. The student will then work to mix a variety of rubbers and carbon fillers to create a conductive rubber to use as an electrode for the DEAs, and to characterize their results.

Research Project Information

Student Skill-Set Needed: Familiarity working with chemicals, Basic data processing and computing skills, Ability to gather and study required background tecnhical literature. Prior research experience in the area of conductive rubbers is preferred. CSTEP, LSAMP and McNair student
Compensation: Academic Credit, Volunteer
Available: Fall, Spring


For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:

Faculty Member: Dr. Jennifer L. Zirnheld
Title: Director Energy Systems Integration
Department: Electrical Engineering
Office: 213 Davis Hall
Phone: 645-1033