CONTACT: Adrien Hanouar Renaudo, Centre for Entreprneurship and Innovation +372 737 6546

Soft samples, e.g. of biological origin, are best manipulated with compliant probes with a matched mechanical response. Ionic and Capacitive Laminates (ICLs) are excellent candidates for soft shape-morphing manipulators.

Case study: Manipulation of human hair in-situ under SEM

  • Tip deflection >0.5 mm at 1.6 mm free length
  • Chamber pressure ~50 Pa
  • No interference with electron beam due to low voltage and no magnetic components
  • No evaporation of ionic liquid electrolyte was observed
  • Possible configurations:
    • ICL as a stand-alone manipulator
    • ICL as an end-effector for other manipulators





Case study: soft gripper

  • Manipulators for different environments (air, vacuum, liquid)
  • Grippers for small and fragile objects
  • Safer micro-medical and -surgical devices
  • ICLs have bipolar symmetric continuous actuation
  • Actuation of ICLs is proportional to the reversibly stored electric charge and it returns to its initial state by re-extracting the charge
  • ICL stress-strain behavior can be tuned by material synthesis and by the actuator’s geometry
  • The operating voltage of ICLs is very low, not exceeding 2.7 V, making it safe to operate and straightforward to drive using microcontrollers
  • ICL can be fabricated completely metal-free, optional (e.g., metallic) current collectors increase the performance
  • Easy to apply different sensors and probes to the manipulator tip

Case study: Manipulation and electrical probing of soft objects

Probing of soft gels and liquid droplets.