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Swaying gel: chemo-mechanical self-oscillation based on dynamic buckling

Hua, Mutian and Kim, Cheolgyu and Du, Yingjie and Wu, Dong and Bai, Ruobing and He, Ximin (2021) Swaying gel: chemo-mechanical self-oscillation based on dynamic buckling. Matter, 4 (3). pp. 1029-1041. ISSN 2590-2385.

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Self-oscillating systems are powerful tools for transducing static energy inputs into repetitive motions without the aid of external control units. The challenge in sustaining the far-from-equilibrium motion of an oscillating material is to avoid the tendency of reaching thermodynamic equilibrium or get pinned at steady states in the dynamic process. While living organisms present elegant strategies in myriad self-oscillations (e.g., peristalsis, cilia motion, homeostasis), current synthetic self-oscillating systems often rely on a fast actuation/reaction, to maintain the far-from-equilibrium motion, which prescribe highly specific chemical reactions and a material microstructure with limited stimuli and movement modes. Here, we present a dynamic buckling-based design for creating self-oscillating systems. The oscillation arises from the self-driven snap-through of a responsive hydrogel between bi-/multi-stable buckling configurations governed by a feedback loop. With broad choices of materials, tunable mechanics, and physical simplicity, this system opens a new venue for unlimited autonomous-oscillating materials applications.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Hua, Mutian0000-0002-4079-316X
Wu, Dong0000-0003-2360-4109
Bai, Ruobing0000-0002-5847-0502
He, Ximin0000-0001-8845-4637
Additional Information:© 2021 Elsevier Inc. Received 8 November 2020, Revised 21 December 2020, Accepted 31 December 2020, Available online 28 January 2021.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)UNSPECIFIED
Office of Naval Research (ONR)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:self-oscillation; buckling; hydrogels; feedback loop; snap-through; microfluidics; pumping; separation; dynamic
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210128-150433792
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Mutian Hua, Cheolgyu Kim, Yingjie Du, Dong Wu, Ruobing Bai, Ximin He, Swaying gel: chemo-mechanical self-oscillation based on dynamic buckling, Matter, Volume 4, Issue 3, 2021, Pages 1029-1041, ISSN 2590-2385, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107794
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Jan 2021 23:22
Last Modified:03 Mar 2021 23:15

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