Applied Physics A

, Volume 85, Issue 2, pp 141–143

Self-organized minimum-energy structures for dielectric elastomer actuators


  • G. Kofod
    • Department of Applied Condensed Matter PhysicsUniversity of Potsdam
  • M. Paajanen
    • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    • Department of Soft Matter PhysicsJohannes Kepler University

DOI: 10.1007/s00339-006-3680-3

Cite this article as:
Kofod, G., Paajanen, M. & Bauer, S. Appl. Phys. A (2006) 85: 141. doi:10.1007/s00339-006-3680-3


When a stretched elastomer is laminated to a flat plastic frame, a complex shape is formed, which is termed a minimum-energy structure. It is shown how self-organized structures can be applied in the development of actuators with complex, out-of-plane actuationmodes. This unusual concept is then demonstrated in the case of dielectric elastomer actuators. Among advantages of this approach are the simplicity in manufacturing, the potential complexity and sophistication of the manufactured structures, and the general benefits of the concept when applied to other electro-mechanically active materials.

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© Springer-Verlag 2006