Special Issue "Actuators based on Carbon Nanotube, Graphene and Beyond Graphene Materials"

A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Balaji Panchapakesan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA 01609, USA
Interests: photo-thermal actuators; nanocomposites; modeling and control; polymer actuators; electromechanical/electro-chemical actuators; mems sensors and actuators; nanoelectromechanical systems; straintronics; carbon nanotubes; graphene; transition metal dichalcogenides; electroactive polymers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Richard Feynman, in his famous talk at the APS in Caltech in 1959, discussed the possibilities of building small machines that could be swallowed and used as a mechanical surgeon to remove a faulty heart valve or assist an inadequately performing organ. It is not hard to imagine that the backbone of such mechanical surgeons would one day consist of micro- and nano-actuator technologies that can convert heat/light/charge/chemicals within the body into mechanical work. Feynman’s wild ideas eventually gave way to several innovative technologies namely scanning probe microscopies, micro-electro-mechanical systems and nanotechnology. Nanomaterials such as 1D carbon nanotubes and 2D graphene are excellent actuators owing to their high strength and elastic modulus due to the strong sp2 carbon bonds that make up their structure. Since the pioneering work by R.H. Baughman on carbon nanotube actuators in 1999 in Science, this field has seen a tremendous growth with more than thousand publications on various types of nanotube/graphene-based actuators. Some interesting innovations in these areas include the case of the smallest man made nanomotor based on a single nanotube rotating a metallic paddle by Zettl in 2003. Arrays of small nanomotors with molecular mechanisms could eventually be the building blocks of a mechanical factory that could be useful in detecting atoms and molecules, deflecting/filtering electromagnetic radiation, and splicing proteins/damaged cells with a rotating knife patterned onto the paddle inside an artery/vein, not far from the wild dream that Feynman imagined. Recent advances in 2-D nanomaterials such as molybdenum sulphide has shown the coupling between piezoelectric behaviour and semiconducting properties (Piezotronics) depending on the number of layers and is sure to impact the field of energy conversion and actuation in intriguing ways. Therefore this Special Issue targets high quality publications spanning the following topics:

  • 1D and 2D actuators based on carbon nanotubes, graphene and other 2-D materials and their composites including soft actuators.
  • Mechanisms, such as electro-mechanical, pneumatic, piezoelectric, photo-mechanical, photo-thermal, shape memory, and others incorporating nanomaterials and their composites.
  • Actuator devices, processing technologies and underlying principles governing the working of such devices at all length scales
  • Theoretical modeling.
  • Scalable manufacturing of 1D and 2D nanomaterials for actuation and energy conversion technologies
  • Actuation, Robotics and other energy conversion applications

Dr. Balaji Panchapakesan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Actuators is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
A Thermoacoustic Model for High Aspect Ratio Nanostructures
Actuators 2016, 5(4), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/act5040023 - 22 Sep 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4189
Abstract
In this paper, we have developed a new thermoacoustic model for predicting the resonance frequency and quality factors of one-dimensional (1D) nanoresonators. Considering a nanoresonator as a fix-free Bernoulli-Euler cantilever, an analytical model has been developed to show the influence of material and [...] Read more.
In this paper, we have developed a new thermoacoustic model for predicting the resonance frequency and quality factors of one-dimensional (1D) nanoresonators. Considering a nanoresonator as a fix-free Bernoulli-Euler cantilever, an analytical model has been developed to show the influence of material and geometrical properties of 1D nanoresonators on their mechanical response without any damping. Diameter and elastic modulus have a direct relationship and length has an inverse relationship on the strain energy and stress at the clamp end of the nanoresonator. A thermoacoustic multiphysics COMSOL model has been elaborated to simulate the frequency response of vibrating 1D nanoresonators in air. The results are an excellent match with experimental data from independently published literature reports, and the results of this model are consistent with the analytical model. Considering the air and thermal damping in the thermoacoustic model, the quality factor of a nanowire has been estimated and the results show that zinc oxide (ZnO) and silver-gallium (Ag2Ga) nanoresonators are potential candidates as nanoresonators, nanoactuators, and for scanning probe microscopy applications. Full article
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Article
Spatially Nonuniform Heating and the Nonlinear Transient Response of Elastomeric Photomechanical Actuators
Actuators 2016, 5(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/act5020016 - 02 Jun 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4482
Abstract
Recently various nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes and graphene, have been added to rubbery elastomers, such as poly dimethyl siloxane (PDMS), to enable generation of stress and displacement in response to remote illumination. While the response is primarily due to heat-induced generation of [...] Read more.
Recently various nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes and graphene, have been added to rubbery elastomers, such as poly dimethyl siloxane (PDMS), to enable generation of stress and displacement in response to remote illumination. While the response is primarily due to heat-induced generation of stress; i.e., the thermoelastic effect in rubbers, illuminated samples have shown unexpected deviations between the transient waveforms of sample temperature and induced stress. In this report we have created a new and simple lumped element model to explain the stress behavior of these photomechanical nanocomposites. The model consists of two parameters that describe the spatially averaged steady state temperature rise due to optical absorption of the structure (typically a long strip of pre-strained elastomer) and the spatially averaged convective cooling rate of the strip, together with a time-varying function that effectively represents the temperature distribution and thermal convection along the length of the strip. The model is used to compare two actuators that each have a thin embedded layer of carbon nanotubes, in which the one film consists of randomly aligned nanotubes and the other has a much more ordered alignment. The model not only fits both transient responses, but the differences between the parameters suggests that the ordered film conducts heat across the strip more rapidly than the disordered film, leading to it more rapidly reaching the steady state level of maximum stress. This model should be helpful in future experimental studies that work to observe, delineate and identify possible nanoscale and molecular contributions to photomechanical stress. Full article
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