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Carbon Nanotube Photo-Thermo-Mechanical Actuator

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Carbon nanotubes show a remarkable tendency for direct (rapid) temperature increase of the order of hundreds of degrees when exposed to near infra-red light. The reason is local confinement of the heat wave in their 1D structure which generates rapid temperature rise. Here we demonstrate that these high temperatures can be exploited to generate large deformation and force output by anchoring the nanotubes to a substrate. We report energy density (i.e., work done per unit mass) of the nanotube actuator as ∼4268 J/Kg which is significantly larger than piezoceramic (∼4.25 J/Kg), magnetostrictive (∼21.6 J/Kg), lead–zinc-niobate/lead–titanate single-crystals (∼131 J/Kg), polyvinylidene fluoride trifluoro–ethylene copolymers (∼160 J/Kg) and shape memory alloys (∼1337 J/Kg).
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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