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Large electrostrictive strain at gigahertz frequencies in a polymer nanoactuator: Computational device design

Strachan, Alejandro and Goddard, William A., III (2005) Large electrostrictive strain at gigahertz frequencies in a polymer nanoactuator: Computational device design. Applied Physics Letters, 86 (8). Art. No. 083103. ISSN 0003-6951.

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Using molecular dynamics with a first-principles-based force field (denoted MSXX), we show that large electrostrictive strains (similar to 5%) at extremely high frequencies (over similar to 10^(9) Hz) can be achieved in a poly(vinylidene-fluoride) nanoactuator if the packing density of the polymer chains is chosen appropriately. We control the packing density by assembling the polymer chains on a silicon < 111 > surface with one-half coverage. Under these conditions, the equilibrium, zero electric field conformation of the polymer contains a combination of gauche and trans bonds. This structure can be transformed to an all-T conformation by applying an external electric field. Such molecular transformation is accompanied by a large deformation in the direction of the polymer chains. The device shows typical electrostrictive behavior with strain proportional to the square of the polarization.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:©2005 American Institute of Physics. Received 16 September 2004; accepted 7 December 2004; published online 15 February 2005. This work was supported by DARPA, program manager: Carey Schwartz.
Subject Keywords:polymer blends; microactuators; molecular dynamics method; piezoelectric actuators; electrostriction; piezoelectric materials; dielectric polarisation; solid-state phase transformations; internal stresses
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:STRAapl05
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3475
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Jun 2006
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 08:54

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