Electrical energy generated by silicone elastomers filled with nanospring-carbon-nanotubes

Yun Jae Lee, Philip Caspari, Dorina M. Opris, Frank A. Nüesch, Sora Ham, Jung Hyuk Kim, Sung Ryong Kim, Byeong Kwon Ju, Won Kook Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Dielectric elastomer generators (DEGs) are flexible capacitors that convert mechanical into electrical energy. They rely on an external voltage source to charge the capacitor during each operation cycle. An alternative to this is an autonomous DEG which operates with an electret as integrated voltage source. To increase the amount of energy generated per cycle, elastomers with increased permittivity, low viscoelastic losses and high strain at break are of advantage. Here, we report the synthesis of elastic materials with increased permittivity by blending different silicone matrices with nanospring carbon-nanotubes (NS-CNTs) particles and their performance as dielectric in electret DEGs. The best material developed has a dielectric permittivity of ε′ = 4.6, a mechanical loss factor of 0.03 and a strain at break of 270%. The output voltage of the DEG constructed using this composite increases from 8.8 V to 14.5 V, when the strain increases from 33% to 66%, respectively. Additionally, the output voltage increases with the rise in permittivity, from 9.3 V for a regular polydimethylsiloxane elastomer (ε′ = 2.9) to 14.5 for the best composite (ε′ = 4.6).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3535-3542
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry C
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from KIST Institutional Research Program (2V04270, 2V04580, and 2V05320), from Empa (International Cooperation Project between KIST and Empa KIST01:Generators), SNF 200020-172693, as well as to the Korean-Swiss Young Researchers Exchange Program. We also acknowledge B. Fischer and T. Kuenniger (both Empa) for their support with GPC and DMA measurements, respectively.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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