By developing a new organic composite that changes shape with minimal electrical input, researchers at Penn State have overcome a barrier to artificial muscles and provided a candidate material for everything from smart skins to miniscule drug pumps.
“Electroactive polymers have been around for a long time, but the energy input required for them to do enough work to be of value was very high,” says Dr. Qiming Zhang, a professor of electrical engineering at Penn State. “With this new composite we have reduced the voltage to one tenth that previously needed.”
Electroactive polymers are simply polymers that can undergo controlled changes in such things as charge distribution and shape. This makes the materials ideally suited to form such things as actuators, sensors and flexible displays.
Continue reading… “Artificial Muscles, Smart Skin Possible with New Material”