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Proceedings Paper

Designing light responsive bistable arches for rapid, remotely triggered actuation
Author(s): Matthew L. Smith; M. Ravi Shankar; Ryan Backman; Vincent P. Tondiglia; Kyung Min Lee; Michael E. McConney; David H. Wang; Loon-Seng Tan; Timothy J. White
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Paper 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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 March 2014
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9058, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2014, 90580F (9 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2044906
Show Author Affiliations
Matthew L. Smith, Hope College (United States)
M. Ravi Shankar, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
Ryan Backman, Hope College (United States)
Vincent P. Tondiglia, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Kyung Min Lee, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Michael E. McConney, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
David H. Wang, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Loon-Seng Tan, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Timothy J. White, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9058:
Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2014
Nakhiah C. Goulbourne; Hani E. Naguib, Editor(s)

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