Thermally reduced graphene oxide/thermoplastic polyurethane nanocomposites as photomechanical actuators

Thermally Reduced Graphene oxide/thermoplastic Polyurethane Nanocomposites As Photomechanical Actuators 

M. N. Muralidharan1,2, Seema Ansari1*

1Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology, Athani P.O, Thrissur, Kerala, India

2Department of Polymer Science and Rubber Technology, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi, Kerala, India

Adv. Mater. Lett., 2013, 4 (12), pp 927-932

DOI: 10.5185/amlett.2013.5474

Publication Date (Web): Nov 24, 2013



Optically triggered actuators offer unique advantages like wireless actuation and remote control when comared to other type of actuators. They are extremely useful where stimulus other than electricity or heat is preferred. Thermally reduced graphene oxide (TRGO)/thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) composite actuators were prepared by simple solution casting technique. The photomechanical actuation properties of the composites were studied under infrared illumination. It was found that the photomechanical response can be tuned by controlling the applied prestrain and the filler loading. Even with a low filler loading of 2 wt. % TRGO, the composite exhibited a very high photomechanical strain of 50.2% with an excellent stress of 1680 kPa at a prestrain of 220%. These high values were achieved at a very low light intensity of 16mWcm-2. The high values of strain obtained with very good generative forces indicate that this is a promising material for light triggered actuators for many potential applications including robotics and biomedical devices.


Nanocomposites, actuators, graphene, photomechanical.

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