Light-Fueled Nonreciprocal Self-Oscillators for Fluidic Transportation and Coupling

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2024-03-21
Department
Department of Applied Physics
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
Series
Advanced Materials, Volume 36, issue 12
Abstract
Light-fueled self-oscillators based on soft actuating materials have triggered novel designs for small-scale robotic constructs that self-sustain their motion at non-equilibrium states and possess bioinspired autonomy and adaptive functions. However, the motions of most self-oscillators are reciprocal, which hinders their use in sophisticated biomimetic functions such as fluidic transportation. Here, an optically powered soft material strip that can perform nonreciprocal, cilia-like, self-sustained oscillation under water is reported. The actuator is made of planar-aligned liquid crystal elastomer responding to visible light. Two laser beams from orthogonal directions allow for piecewise control over the strip deformation, enabling two self-shadowing effects coupled in one single material to yield nonreciprocal strokes. The nonreciprocity, stroke pattern and handedness are connected to the fluidic pumping efficiency, which can be controlled by the excitation conditions. Autonomous microfluidic pumping in clockwise and anticlockwise directions, translocation of a micro-object by liquid propulsion, and coupling between two oscillating strips through liquid medium interaction are demonstrated. The results offer new concepts for non-equilibrium soft actuators that can perform bio-like functions under water.
Description
Funding Information: The authors acknowledge funding from Academy of Finland (Postdoctoral Researcher No. 331015 to H.Zh., Research Fellow No. 340263 to H.Ze., Center of Excellence in Life‐Inspired Hybrid Materials, LIBER, No. 346107 and the Flagship Programme on Photonics Research and Innovation, PREIN, No. 320165 to A.P.). Z.D. is supported by European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Sklodowska‐Curie Grant Agreement No. 956150 (STORM‐BOTS). The authors thank Matilda Backholm (Aalto University) for the insightful discussion. Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Authors. Advanced Materials published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.
Keywords
artificial cilia, liquid crystal elastomer, micro-robots, nonreciprocal motion, photoactuator, self-sustained oscillation
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Citation
Deng, Z, Zhang, H, Priimagi, A & Zeng, H 2024, ' Light-Fueled Nonreciprocal Self-Oscillators for Fluidic Transportation and Coupling ', Advanced Materials, vol. 36, no. 12, 2209683 . https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202209683