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Charge localization instability in a highly deformable dielectric elastomer

tongqing.lu's picture

A highly deformable capacitor made of a soft dielectric and two conformal

electrodes can switch between two states discontinuously, by a first-order transition, as the total

charge varies gradually. When the total charge is small, it spreads evenly over the area of the

capacitor, and the capacitor deforms homogeneously. When the total charge is large, it localizes in

a small region of the capacitor, and this region thins down preferentially. The capacitor will

survive the localization without electrical breakdown if the area of the electrode is small. Such a

bistable system may lead to useful devices.

 

Tongqing Lu, Christoph Keplinger, Nikita Arnold, Siegfried Bauer, Zhigang Suo. Charge localization instability in a highly deformable dielectric elastomer. Applied Physics Letters 104, 022905 (2014).

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