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Light-induced swirling and locomotion

Maghsoodi, Ameneh and Bhattacharya, Kaushik (2022) Light-induced swirling and locomotion. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, 478 (2267). Art. No. 20220545. ISSN 1364-5021. doi:10.1098/rspa.2022.0545.

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The design of remotely activated, untethered devices without onboard power is a continuing challenge in soft robotics. This work describes a method of generating a whirling motion in pre-stressed photomechanical liquid crystal elastomer fibres using steady illumination that can be exploited for propulsion and mixing. Photomechanical liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) can convert light directly into mechanical deformation, making them attractive candidates for soft actuators capable of remote and multi-mode actuation. We propose a three-dimensional multi-scale model of the nonlinear and non-local dynamics of fibres of photomechanical LCEs under illumination. We use the model to show that pre-stressed helix-like fibres immersed in a fluid can undergo a periodic whirling motion under steady illumination. We analyse the photo-driven spatio-temporal pattern and stability of the whirling deformation, and provide a parametric study. Unlike previous work on photo-driven periodic motion, this whirling motion does not exploit instabilities in the form of snap-through phenomena, or unilateral constraints as in rolling. More broadly, our work provides an unusual example of a physical system capable of periodic motion under steady stimulus that does not exploit instabilities. We finally show that such motion can be exploited in developing remote controlled bioinspired microswimmers and novel micromixers.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Maghsoodi, Ameneh0000-0002-8250-8734
Bhattacharya, Kaushik0000-0003-2908-5469
Additional Information:This study was supported by the US Office of Naval Research through Multi-investigator University Research Initiative (grant no. ONR N00014-18-1-2624).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014-18-1-2624
Issue or Number:2267
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20221128-491790500.1
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:118048
Deposited By: Research Services Depository
Deposited On:07 Dec 2022 16:56
Last Modified:07 Dec 2022 16:56

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