Motion of Liquid Crystaline Elastomers and Method of Use Thereof - Light Avoiding Motion of Floating Liquid Crystaline Elastomers
Abstract: This invention provides a method for inducing movement of an object in contact with a fluid, includes providing a flexible object, and exposing the object to an energy source. The energy source induces a change in the shape of the object, and movement occurs as a result of the change in shape of the object. The flexible object may be a liquid crystal elastomer object. An apparatus for producing work, including a liquid crystalline elastomer capable of changing shape upon exposure to an energy source, is also disclosed.
Applications and Advantages:
When a beam of light, from a light source such as a laser, is made to fall on a light absorbing liquid crystal elastomer floating on a fluid, whether water or another fluid, the elastomer moves away from the light. This discovery offers a new way of propelling floating objects. It is a new method of propulsion for objects and materials floating on fluids or supported on deformable media.
Inventors: Dr. Peter Palffy-Muhoray et al
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