Report

Torsional Carbon Nanotube Artificial Muscles

Science  28 Oct 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6055, pp. 494-497
DOI: 10.1126/science.1211220

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Abstract

Rotary motors of conventional design can be rather complex and are therefore difficult to miniaturize; previous carbon nanotube artificial muscles provide contraction and bending, but not rotation. We show that an electrolyte-filled twist-spun carbon nanotube yarn, much thinner than a human hair, functions as a torsional artificial muscle in a simple three-electrode electrochemical system, providing a reversible 15,000° rotation and 590 revolutions per minute. A hydrostatic actuation mechanism, as seen in muscular hydrostats in nature, explains the simultaneous occurrence of lengthwise contraction and torsional rotation during the yarn volume increase caused by electrochemical double-layer charge injection. The use of a torsional yarn muscle as a mixer for a fluidic chip is demonstrated.

View Full Text