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Proceedings Paper

Light-driven polymer actuators
Author(s): Sergey S. Sarkisov; LaQuieta Huey; Michael J. Curley; Grigory Adamovsky; Deborah Pekker; Jai-Ching Wang
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Paper Abstract

New light-driven actuators based on films of polymer polyvinylidene fluoride are described. The actuators employ the photomechanical bending of the polymer film caused by low power (10 mW and less) laser radiation. The photomechanical effect combines various physical mechanisms, such as anisotropic thermal expansion, converse piezoelectric mechanism along with photovoltaic and pyrolelectric ones, while the mechanism of thermal expansion is dominant for slow motion. The static force applied by the actuators to external objects was 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- micron film illuminated with a 10-mW laser beam. Mechanical vibrations of the strips of the photomechanical polymer were observed when the periodic laser pulses were used. The resonance frequency is inversely proportional to the square of the length of the strip. Resonance frequency measurements were used to determine the modulus of elasticity of the films, which was close to 3.0x109 Pa. Two possible applications are discussed: photonic switch and adaptive mirror. The proposed actuators have a potential of being used as the components of future light-driven micro/nano systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 December 2005
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6048, Optomechatronic Actuators and Manipulation, 604801 (5 December 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.626527
Show Author Affiliations
Sergey S. Sarkisov, SSS Optical Technologies, LLC (United States)
LaQuieta Huey, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical Univ. (United States)
Michael J. Curley, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical Univ. (United States)
Grigory Adamovsky, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
Deborah Pekker, SSS Optical Technologies, LLC (United States)
Jai-Ching Wang, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6048:
Optomechatronic Actuators and Manipulation
Kee S. Moon, Editor(s)

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