In situ electron microscopy of Braille microsystems: Photoactuation of ethylene vinyl acetate/carbon nanotube composites
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The development of new types of tactile displays based on the actuation of composite materials can aid the visually impaired. Micro/nano systems based on ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) polymeric matrices enriched with multiwalled carbon nanotubes(MWCNT) can produce ensembles capable of lightinduced actuation. In this report, we investigate two types of commercial EVA copolymers matrices containing 28 and 50 wt% vinyl-acetate (VA). Non-covalent modification of carbon nanotubes was achieved through a compatibilization technique that appends the pyrenenyl and cholesteryl groups on the carbon nanotubes (CNTs) surface. EVA/MWCNTnanocomposites were prepared by casting from a solution. These composites were shaped into Braille elements using molds. The deformation of the Braille element (BE) under light-emitting diode (LED) illumination was observed for the first time by in situ scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The superior actuation performance promoted by the EVA/MWCNTnanocomposites indicates that these materials will be useful in the future as lightdriven micro/nano system actuators.
- Chemical Engineering [926 items ]
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