This CITRIS research project was primarily focused on synthesizing a new type of a photo-response polymer system. Polymers’ responsive behaviors, response frequency, amplitude, force generated and the number of cycles before failure as a function of light and heat stimulations will be characterized. Energy and force transduction efficiency include converting thermal energy into electriciyy and transforming electrical “force” to mechanical displacement will be investigated.
Without any conventional photosensitive moieties, this new type of polymer film can directly convert photon energy into mechanical energy reliably and can also generate electricity when it is attached to a PVDF film. Unlike azobenzene-based conventional photomechanical polymer systems, this new material has higher photon transmission and thus offers great potential to generate higher mechanical actuation.