Researchers of the University of Basel and Empa have gotten a step closer to engineering artificial muscles: they have developed a method to generate nanometer-thin silicone films.
Elastomers, which can transform electrical energy into mechanical energy, have a wide variety of applications, i.e. powering windscreen wipers, sound generation, and operating camera lenses. By surrounding the synthetic material with electrodes and applying operation voltage, it expands laterally.
Ref: Electrospraying Nanometer-Thin Elastomer Films for Low-Voltage Dielectric Actuators. Advanced Electronic Materials (2016) | DOI: 10.1002/aelm.201500476
Ref: Thin Film Formation and Morphology of Electro-sprayed Polydimethylsiloxane. Langmuir (2016) | DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b00476
Ref: Artificial Muscle Devices: Innovations and Prospects for Fecal Incontinence Treatment. Annals of Biomedical Engineering (2016) | DOI: 10.1007/s10439-016-1572-z