Photogated humidity-driven motility

Lidong Zhang, Haoran Liang, Jolly Jacob, Pance Naumov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Hygroinduced motion is a fundamental process of energy conversion that is essential for applications that require contactless actuation in response to the day-night rhythm of atmospheric humidity. Here we demonstrate that mechanical bistability caused by rapid and anisotropic adsorption and desorption of water vapour by a flexible dynamic element that harnesses the chemical potential across very small humidity gradients for perpetual motion can be effectively modulated with light. A mechanically robust material capable of rapid exchange of water with the surroundings is prepared that undergoes swift locomotion in effect to periodic shape reconfiguration with turnover frequency of <150 min-1. The element can lift objects ∼85 times heavier and can transport cargos ∼20 times heavier than itself. Having an azobenzene-containing conjugate as a photoactive dopant, this entirely humidity-driven self-actuation can be controlled remotely with ultraviolet light, thus setting a platform for next-generation smart biomimetic hybrids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7429
JournalNature Communications
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 11 2015

Fingerprint

locomotion
Humidity
humidity
Atmospheric humidity
actuation
harnesses
rhythm
Biomimetics
Chemical potential
biomimetics
Steam
energy conversion
Locomotion
Ultraviolet Rays
Energy conversion
ultraviolet radiation
night
Adsorption
water vapor
Desorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Photogated humidity-driven motility. / Zhang, Lidong; Liang, Haoran; Jacob, Jolly; Naumov, Pance.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 6, 7429, 11.06.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zhang, Lidong ; Liang, Haoran ; Jacob, Jolly ; Naumov, Pance. / Photogated humidity-driven motility. In: Nature Communications. 2015 ; Vol. 6.
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