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9 March 2014 Designing light responsive bistable arches for rapid, remotely triggered actuation
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Abstract
Light responsive azobenzene functionalized polymer networks enjoy several advantages as actuator candidates including the ability to be remotely triggered and the capacity for highly tunable control via light intensity, polarization, wavelength and material alignments. One signi cant challenge hindering these materials from being employed in applications is their often relatively slow actuation rates and low power densities, especially in the absence of photo-thermal e ects. One well known strategy employed in nature for increasing actuation rate and power output is the storage and quick release of elastic energy (e.g., the Venus ytrap). Using nature as inspiration we have conducted a series of experiments and developed an equilibrium mechanics model for investigating remotely triggered snap-through of bistable light responsive arches made from glassy azobenzene functionalized polymers. After brie y discussing experimental observations we consider in detail a geometrically exact, planar rod model of photomechanical snap-through. Theoretical energy release characteristics and unique strain eld pro les provide insight toward design strategies for improved actuator performance. The bistable light responsive arches presented here are potentially a powerful option for remotely triggered, rapid motion from apparently passive structures in applications such as binary optical switches and positioners, surfaces with morphing topologies, and impulse locomotion in micro or millimeter scale robotics.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Matthew L. Smith, M. Ravi Shankar, Ryan Backman, Vincent P. Tondiglia, Kyung Min Lee, Michael E. McConney, David H. Wang, Loon-Seng Tan, and Timothy J. White "Designing light responsive bistable arches for rapid, remotely triggered actuation", Proc. SPIE 9058, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2014, 90580F (9 March 2014); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2044906
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