Multi-Responsive and Multi-Motion Bimorph Actuator Based on Super-Aligned Carbon Nanotube Sheets


Multi-responsive actuators have recently aroused intensive research for the requirements of being used in various environments. However, their actuation performances are generally lower than their single responsive counterparts because of the restriction of material selection and complicated structural design. Here, for the first time, a multi-responsive actuator that can respond to four types of stimuli including electricity, near infrared light, humidity, and organic vapors was designed by attaching superaligned carbon nanotubes sheets and coating an ink layer on the both sides of the PET film. The multi-responsive actuator shows fast and reversible actuation with high displacement-to-length ratio of 0.79 under electrical stimulus, and large bending angle of 212⁰ in 0.55 s at a bending speed of 646⁰/s under near infrared light irradiation. The actuator also shows fast response exposing to moisture and volatile organic vapors. The actuator shows a large bending angle within ∼0.1 s when exposed to different organic solvents and recovered its initial shape when the solvent was removed. These performances are in the same level of the record values of the thermal-based bimorph actuators. We demonstrated this actuator as a smart electric-control frequency switch at relatively high on/off frequency up to 17.5 Hz. ©2019 Elsevier Ltd


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Carbon nanotubes, Electric switchgear, Infrared equipment, Structural design, Yarn, Bimorphs, Electric controllers, Electric stimulation, Actuators

This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China 2017YFB0307000, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grants U1533122 and51773094), the Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin (Grantnumber18JCZDJC36800), the Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars of Tianjin (Grant number 18JCJQJC46600), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities 63171219, the Fundamental Research Funds for Nankai University 63191139, the Science and Technology Support Program of Changzhou CZ20170007, and State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, Donghua University LK1704.


©2019 Elsevier Ltd