Photothermal Bimorph Actuators with In-Built Cooler for Light Mills, Frequency Switches, and Soft Robots


Photothermal bimorph actuators are widely used for smart devices, which are generally operated in a room temperature environment, therefore a low temperature difference for actuation without deteriorating the performance is preferred. The strategy for the actuator is assembling a broadband-light absorption layer for volume expansion and an additional water evaporation layer for cooling and volume shrinkage on a passive layer. The response time and temperature-change-normalized bending speed under NIR, white, and blue light illumination are at the same level of high performance, fast photothermal actuators based on polymer or polymer composites. The classical beam theory and finite element simulations are also conducted to understand the actuation mechanism of the actuator. A new type of light mill is designed based on a wing-flapping mechanism and a light-modulated frequency switch. A fast-walking robot (with a speed of 26 mm s -1 ) and a fast-and-strong mechanical gripper with a large weight-lifting ratio (˜2142), respectively, are also demonstrated. ©2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


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Bending actuators, Soft robots, Torsional actuatiors, Absorption--cooling, Light absorption, Robots, Temperature, Water absorption, Actuators


©2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim