The research on soft elastomers with high dielectric permittivity for the use as dielectric electroactive polymers (DEAP) has grown substantially within the last decade. The approaches to enhance the dielectric permittivity can be categorized into three main classes: 1) Mixing or blending in high permittivity fillers, 2) Grafting of high permittivity molecules onto the polymer backbone in the elastomer, and 3) Encapsulation of high permittivity fillers. The approach investigated here is a new type of encapsulation which does not interfere with the mechanical properties to the same content as for the traditionally applied thermoplastic encapsulation. The properties of the elastomers are investigated as function of the filler content and type. The dielectric permittivity, dielectric loss, conductivity, storage modulus as well as viscous loss are compared to elastomers with the same amounts of high permittivity fillers blended into the elastomer, and it is found that the encapsulation provides a technique to enhance some of these properties.
Proceedings of Spie: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (eapad) Xvi, 2014