5 April 2007 Towards artificial molecular motor-based electroactive/photoactive biomimetic muscles
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Artificial molecular motors have recently attracted considerable interest from the nanoscience and nanoengineering community. These molecular-scale systems utilize a 'bottom-up' technology centered around the design and manipulation of molecular assemblies, and are potentially capable of delivering efficient actuations at dramatically reduced length scales when compared to traditional microscale actuators. When stimulated by light, electricity, or chemical reagents, a group of artificial molecular motors called bistable rotaxanes - which are composed of mutually recognizable and intercommunicating ring and dumbbell-shaped components - experience relative internal motions of their components just like the moving parts of macroscopic machines. Bistable rotaxanes' ability to precisely and cooperatively control mechanical motions at the molecular level reveals the potential of engineering systems that operate with the same elegance, efficiency, and complexity as biological motors function within the human body. We are in a process of developing a new class of bistable rotaxane-based electroactive/photoactive biomimetic muscles with unprecedented performance (strain: 40-60%, operating frequency: up to 1 MHz, energy density: ~50 J/cm3, multi-stimuli: chemical, electricity, light). As a substantial step towards this longterm objective, we have proven, for the first time, that rotaxanes are mechanically switchable in condensed phases on solid substrates. We have further developed a rotaxane-powered microcantilever actuator utilizing an integrated approach that combines "bottom-up" assembly of molecular functionality with "top-down" micro/nano fabrication. By harnessing the nanoscale mechanical motion from artificial molecular machines and eliciting a nanomechanical response in a microscale device, this system mimics natural skeletal muscle and provides a key component for the development of nanoelectromechanical system (NEMS).
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Tony Jun Huang, Tony Jun Huang, } "Towards artificial molecular motor-based electroactive/photoactive biomimetic muscles", Proc. SPIE 6524, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2007, 65240H (5 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.718483; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.718483


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