Programmable Photo-Actuators And Motors Based On Carbon Nanotubes With Tuned Chirality Distributions

Tech ID: 23491 / UC Case 2013-167-0

Patent Status

Patent Pending

Brief Description

Programmable materials that change their shape and functionality in response to external stimuli represent a novel class of materials that enable new applications. Previous work using shape memory polymers, thermal bimorphs, molecular motors and hydrogels are typically less practical due to slow response times and cost, and their actuations are often non-tunable and non-reversible. To meet these challenges, investigators at UC Berkeley have demonstrated highly versatile photoactuators, oscillators, and motors based on specialized polymer/single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) materials and structures, producing tunable, high-performance chromatic actuators. These new techniques and structures open up the use of SWCT and polymers for advanced photomechanical devices.

Suggested uses

  • Light-driven motors
  • Microfluidic valves
  • Building efficiency
  • Oscillators
  • Sensors
  • Photothermal therapy
  • Piezoceramic applications
  • Magnetostrictive applications


  • Compatible with industry standard methods for fabrication of semiconductor materials
  • Leverages low-cost, scalable production techniques
  • Fast, user-defined, wavelength-selective response

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  • Javey, Ali

Other Information


photoreactive, photoreactive materials, photo-actuator, carbon nanotubes, memory polymers, thermal bimorphs, photoactuators, SWNT, single-walled carbon nanotube, photomechanical, dielectric elastomers, smart materials

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