1 March 2006 Light-driven actuators based on polymer films
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Optical Engineering, 45(3), 034302 (2006). doi:10.1117/1.2185093
We describe new light-driven actuators based on films of polymer polyvinylidene fluoride, known as PVDF. The actuators employ the photomechanic bending of the polymer film caused by low-power (10 mW and less) laser radiation. The photomechanic effect combines various physical mechanisms, such as thermal expansion, the converse piezoelectric mechanism, and the photovoltaic and pyroelectric mechanisms, while the mechanism of thermal expansion is dominant. The force applied by the actuators to external objects is measured with a torsion balance. It is proportional to the power of laser beam and could be as high as 10–4 N for a 50-µm film illuminated with a 10-mW laser beam. We demonstrate mechanical vibrations of a 1×7-mm strip actuator at a frequency of 0.3 kHz. As examples of possible applications, a photonic switch and an actuator with a closed-loop motion that could drive the inner workings of a conventional mechanical clock were demonstrated. The proposed actuators have a potential of being used as propulsion components of future light-driven micro/nano systems.
Sergey S. Sarkisov, Michael J. Curley, LaQuieta Huey, Aisha B. Fields, Sergey S. Sarkisov II, Grigory Adamovsky, "Light-driven actuators based on polymer films," Optical Engineering 45(3), 034302 (1 March 2006). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.2185093


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