NIR–vis–UV Light-Responsive High Stress-Generating Polymer Actuators with a Reduced Creep Rate

Xinglong Pan, Rob C.P. Verpaalen, Huiyi Zhang, Michael G. Debije, Tom A.P. Engels, Cees W.M. Bastiaansen (Corresponding author), Albert P.H.J. Schenning (Corresponding author)

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Untethered, light-responsive, high-stress-generating actuators based on widely-used commercial polymers are appealing for applications in soft robotics. However, the construction of actuators that are stable and reversibly responsive to low-intensity ultraviolet, visible, and infrared lights remains challenging. Here, transparent, stress-generating actuators are reported based on ultradrawn, ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene films. The composite films have different draw ratios (30, 70, and 100) and contain a small amount of graphene in combination with ultraviolet and near-infrared-absorbing dyes. The composite actuators respond rapidly (t 0.9 < 0.8 s) to different wavelengths of light (i.e., 780, 455, and 365 nm). A maximum photoinduced stress of 35 MPa is achieved at a draw ratio of 70 under near-infrared light irradiation. The photoinduced stress increases linearly with the light intensity, indicating the transfer of light into thermally induced mechanical contraction. Moreover, the addition of additives lead to a reduction in the plastic creep rate of the drawn films compared to their nonmodified counterparts.

Originele taal-2Engels
Aantal pagina's7
TijdschriftMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Nummer van het tijdschrift14
Vroegere onlinedatum3 mei 2021
StatusGepubliceerd - 1 jul 2021


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