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Title: Dielectric elastomer actuator-based multifunctional smart window for transparency tuning and noise absorption
Authors: Shrestha, Milan 
Lau, Gih-Keong
Asundi, Anand
Lu, Zhenbo
Keywords: Dielectric elastomer actuators
Smart acoustic absorbers
Smart windows
Transparent thin films
Issue Date: 15-Jan-2021
Publisher: MDPI AG
Citation: Shrestha, Milan, Lau, Gih-Keong, Asundi, Anand, Lu, Zhenbo (2021-01-15). Dielectric elastomer actuator-based multifunctional smart window for transparency tuning and noise absorption. Actuators 10 (1) : 1-15. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Soft actuators are compliant material-based devices capable of producing large deformation upon external stimuli. Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) are a type of soft actuator that operates on voltage stimuli. Apart from soft robotics, these actuators can serve many novel applications, for example, tunable optical gratings, lenses, diffusers, smart windows and so on. This article presents our current work on tunable smart windows which can regulate the light transmittance and the sound absorption. This smart window can promote daylighting while maintaining privacy by electrically switching between transparent and opaque. As a tunable optical surface scatters, it turns transparent with smooth surfaces like a flat glass; but it turns ‘opaque’ (translucent) with the micro-rough surface. The surface roughness is varied employing surface micro-wrinkling or unfolding using dielectric elastomer actuation. Moreover, this smart window is equipped with another layer of transparent micro-perforated dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA), which acts like Helmholtz resonators serving as a tunable and broader sound absorber. It can electrically tune its absorption spectrum to match the noise frequency for maximum acoustic absorption. The membrane tension and perforation size are tuned using DEA activation to tune its acoustic resonant frequency. Such a novel smart window can be made as cheap as glass due to its simple all-solid-state construction. In future, they might be used in smart green buildings and could potentially enhance urban livability. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Source Title: Actuators
ISSN: 2076-0825
DOI: 10.3390/act10010016
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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