An actuator is a transducer that can convert external energy into mechanical motion. The most familiar example of an actuator is a muscle, which can convert chemical energy into mechanical motion. The materials of useful actuators should possess softness and strength in response to external stimuli. Among the various materials used for developing soft actuators, polymers are promising materials owing to their high processability and softness. It is expected that developing high-strength photomechanical materials will have a broad range of applications. Moreover, considering radiation sources, most of the photomechanical LCEs have been manipulated by irradiation with ultraviolet or visible light. In contrast to short-wavelength radiation, infrared (IR) irradiation as the stimulus light is useful for developing practical actuators because IR light is a lower-energy light source for biological molecules. The results indicate that the high-strength photomechanical material made using DNG without additives, such as CNTs to enhance absorption, can mechanically respond to IR irradiation.
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