A Solution Processed High Temperature, Flexible, Thin-Film Actuator

C. Wang, Y. Wang, Y. Yao, W. Luo, J. Wan, J. Dai, E. Hitz, K. Fu, L. Hu
University of Maryland,
United States

Keywords: CNT, thin film actuator, bi-layer design, high temperature, solution process, high sensitivity


We have developed the first bilayer actuator made of carbon nanotubes (CNT) supported boron nitride (BN) that can withstand high temperatures. The CNT supported thin film actuators are fabricated by solution processes followed by paper-like cutting. By utilizing the conductive property of CNT and insulation property of BN, the bilayer actuators can be powered quickly to high temperature up to 2000 K within 100 milliseconds by selective Joule heating of the conductive CNT layer. The bilayer actuator can operate at frequencies from sub-hertz to around 30 Hz due to the low heat capacity of the thin CNT layer. 10,000 cycles have been successfully performed for the high temperature actuator with negligible degradation of performance. The results demonstrate that the new actuators may be used as high temperature switches, sensors, and robots.