Measuring the bending of asymmetric planar EAP structures

Weiss, Florian M.; Zhao, Xue; Thalmann, Peter; Deyhle, Hans; Urwyler, Prabitha; Kovacs, Gabor; Müller, Bert (2013). Measuring the bending of asymmetric planar EAP structures. Proceedings of SPIE, 8687, 86871X. 10.1117/12.2009355

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The geometric characterization of low-voltage dielectric electro-active polymer (EAP) structures, comprised of nanometer thickness but areas of square centimeters, for applications such as artificial sphincters requires methods with nanometer precision. Direct optical detection is usually restricted to sub-micrometer resolution because of the wavelength of the light applied. Therefore, we propose to take advantage of the cantilever bending system with optical readout revealing a sub-micrometer resolution at the deflection of the free end. It is demonstrated that this approach allows us to detect bending of rather conventional planar asymmetric, dielectric EAP-structures applying voltages well below 10 V. For this purpose, we built 100 μm-thin silicone films between 50 nm-thin silver layers on a 25 μm-thin polyetheretherketone (PEEK) substrate. The increase of the applied voltage in steps of 50 V until 1 kV resulted in a cantilever bending that exhibits only in restricted ranges the expected square dependence. The mean laser beam displacement on the detector corresponded to 6 nm per volt. The apparatus will therefore become a powerful mean to analyze and thereby improve low-voltage dielectric EAP-structures to realize nanometer-thin layers for stack actuators to be incorporated into artificial sphincter systems for treating severe urinary and fecal incontinence.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation

UniBE Contributor:

Urwyler-Harischandra, Prabitha


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




Prabitha Urwyler-Harischandra

Date Deposited:

11 Apr 2014 11:19

Last Modified:

11 Apr 2014 11:19

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Micro-cantilever, polyetheretherketone (PEEK), low-voltage dielectric electro-active polymer, artificial sphincter, silicone, silver contact, reflective gold layer thickness, Stoney formula


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