Electroactive polymers

  • US 7,199,501 B2
  • Filed: 01/18/2006
  • Issued: 04/03/2007
  • Est. Priority Date: 07/20/1999
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A transducer for converting from electrical energy to mechanical energy, the transducer comprising:

  • at least two electrodes;

    a polymer arranged in a manner which causes a portion of the polymer to deflect from a first position with a first surface area to a second position with a second surface area in response to a change in electric field;

    a support structure for securing the portion of the polymer at the first position wherein the portion of the polymer is stretched from an initial surface area to the first surface area to improve the mechanical response of the transducer when it deflects from the first position to the second position and wherein the support structure is for supplying a force to the stretched portion of the polymer that prevents the stretched portion of the polymer from returning from the first surface area to about its initial surface area and wherein a ratio of the first surface area to the initial surface area is in the range of about 1 to about 50 in a first direction and in the range from less than about 1 in a surface area direction orthogonal to the first direction.

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