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Manipulating and tuning dynamic characteristics of soft electro-active materials: Modelling, simulations and experiments

Project description

A systematic study on the dynamics of electroactive polymers

Electroactive polymers are smart soft materials that change size or shape when stimulated by an electric field. The most common applications of this type of material are in actuators as well as in energy harvesters, biomedical devices, flexible electronics and tuneable resonator devices. However, a systematic understanding of their dynamic behaviour is still lacking, creating a bottleneck to innovation. The EU-funded DYN-SEAM project will thoroughly investigate how certain factors affect the dynamics of electroactive polymers. Combining theoretical modelling with numerical simulations and experimental tests, the project will focus on the inhomogeneity, anisotropy, viscoelasticity, fluid–solid interactions and periodic structures of electroactive polymers.


Dr. Bin Wu is a Chinese national, trained in Applied Mechanics and Multi-physics in China, Germany, and Italy. He is applying for a two-year MSCA Fellowship to conduct the DYN-SEAM action at NUI Galway, Ireland.

Due to striking advantages such as rapid response and large deformation under electric stimuli, and significant changes of dynamic characteristics induced by biasing fields (pre-stretch, electric stimuli, etc.), soft electro-active materials (SEAMs) have found multiple and practical applications in the real world, including actuators, energy harvesters, biomedical devices, flexible electronics, tunable resonators, and wave devices. However, a systematic understanding of their dynamic behaviours is still lacking, creating a bottleneck to innovation.

The action aims at conducting an in-depth investigation of the effects of key factors (inhomogeneity, anisotropy, viscoelasticity, fluid-solid interaction, periodic structures) on the dynamic characteristics of SEAMs under biasing fields, with special attention in exploring promising applications, such as ultrasonic non-destructive testing and ultrasound elastography, smart design of self-sensing actuators, tunable resonators, and soft intelligent wave devices.

The action mixes ad-hoc theoretical modelling with experimental tests and numerical simulations, by taking full advantage of the host and partner institutions' expertise and facilities, and experience in scientific management, intellectual property, etc. Secondments include a period at an acoustics laboratory (academic) and another at an enhanced hearing company (non-academic).

This international, inter-sectoral and inter-disciplinary action will enable novel technological advances in material/life science and engineering—contributing to Europe 2020 'Innovation Union' initiative and European excellence. It will allow the researcher to grow as a world-class leader for these emerging fields, with a unique blend of expertise and hands-on experience.



Net EU contribution
€ 196 590,72
University road
H91 Galway

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Ireland Northern and Western West
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00