Forget remote-controlled curtains. A new development by researchers at the
A research team led by
Within fractions of a second, the nanotubes absorb light, convert it into heat and transfer the heat to the polycarbonate membrane's surface. The plastic expands in response to the heat, while the nanotube layer does not, causing the two-layered material to bend.
"The advantages of this new class of photo-reactive actuator is that it is very easy to make, and it is very sensitive to low-intensity light," said Javey, who is also a faculty scientist at the
They were able to tweak the size and chirality-referring to the left or right direction of twist-of the nanotubes to make the material react to different wavelengths of light. The swaths of material they created, dubbed "smart curtains," could bend or straighten in response to the flick of a light switch.
Iranian helps create light-activated curtains
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