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Title: A Low‐Voltage, High‐Force Capacity Electroadhesive Clutch Based on Ionoelastomer Heterojunctions
Electroadhesive devices with dielectric films can electrically program changes in stiffness and adhesion, but require hundreds of volts and are subject to failure by dielectric breakdown. Recent work on ionoelastomer heterojunctions has enabled reversible electroadhesion with low voltages, but these materials exhibit limited force capacities and high detachment forces. It is a grand challenge to engineer electroadhesives with large force capacities and programmable detachment at low voltages (<10 V). In this work, tough ionoelastomer/metal mesh composites with low surface energies are synthesized and surface roughness is controlled to realize sub‐ten‐volt clutches that are small, strong, and easily detachable. Models based on fracture and contact mechanics explain how clutch compliance and surface texture affect force capacity and contact area, which is validated over different geometries and voltages. These ionoelastomer clutches outperform the best existing electroadhesive clutches by fivefold in force capacity per unit area (102 N cm^-2), with a 40‐fold reduction in operating voltage (± 7.5 V). Finally, the ability of the ionoelastomer clutches to resist bending moments in a finger wearable and as a reversible adhesive in an adjustable phone mount is demonstrated.  more » « less
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Advanced Materials
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National Science Foundation
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