Organic and hybrid sensors and actuators
Polymers and polymer composites have advanced applications in sensor and actuator technology. This affects material systems used in sensors that react to pressure changes, pressure, heat, moisture and magnetic fields.
In terms of piezoelectric materials, research is being carried out on traditional ferroelectrics such a polyvinylidene fluoride and its copolymers, innovative porous and cellular space-charge electrets (so-called ferroelectrets) and polymer-ceramic composites and they are being optimized for applications. The focus of the work is both on the development of material application technologies and on the process development of electrical functionalization and contacting. Materials with great actuary elongation are being developed with the aim of developing new dielectric elastomers with considerably higher permittivity in order to lower the switching voltage needed for so-called dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA). Process development is focused on producing the thinnest films possible that have adapted and flexible electrodes. There are many applications for these sensors and actuators and these range from tactile sensor arrays to ultrasonic transducers and electromechanical regulator control elements.