Photogated humidity-driven motility
Panc ˇe Naumov
MetadataShow full item record
Hygroinduced motion is a fundamental process of energy conversion that is essential for applications that require contactless actuation in response to the day–night rhythm of atmospheric humidity. Here we demonstrate that mechanical bistability caused by rapid and anisotropic adsorption and desorption of water vapour by a ﬂexible dynamic element that harnesses the chemical potential across very small humidity gradients for perpetual motion can be effectively modulated with light. A mechanically robust material capable of rapid exchange of water with the surroundings is prepared that undergoes swift locomotion in effect to periodic shape reconﬁguration with turnover frequency ofo150min 1. The element can lift objects B85 times heavier and can transport cargos B20 times heavier than itself. Having an azobenzene-containing conjugate as a photoactive dopant, this entirely humiditydriven self-actuation can be controlled remotely with ultraviolet light, thus setting a platform for next-generation smart biomimetic hybrids.