Laser light turns graphene paper into a microbot

Blasts of laser light can make a microbot hustle.

A rectangle of graphene paper about the size of a fingernail can walk, fold and even turn corners, researchers report November 6 in Science Advances.

Materials scientist Jiuke Mu and colleagues from Donghua University in Shanghai designed the paper with a graphene-and-polymer material that sucks water from the environment. Swollen with water, the paper laid flat like a scrap of pressed tinfoil. But when the team hit the paper with light, water frizzled away, making the material shrink and forcing the paper to fold together. Blinking laser light on and off made the paper fold and then flatten again, letting the bot inch along like a tiny worm.

The origami-inspired material could one day make up artificial muscles or find use in robotics, the authors suggest.

LIGHT ACTIVATED Switching on and off a laser light forces a scrap of graphene paper to “walk.” Shining light on the paper makes it fold; turning off the light lets the paper relax.DONGHUA UNIVERSITY
2:00PM, NOVEMBER 6, 2015
Full article:

Source: Laser light turns graphene paper into a microbot | Science News

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3 thoughts on “Laser light turns graphene paper into a microbot

  1. If they use that in muscles one day, will I need to shine my flashlight on that muscle to keep it moving if I run at night? I’m sorry, I had to ask. It’s my inner snark. It needed to get out of its cage today. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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