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Thermo- and Photoresponsive Actuators with Freestanding Carbon Nitride Films

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posted on 2019-03-11, 00:00 authored by Zhuang Cai, Zhiping Song, Liangqia Guo
The development of versatile actuators that convert environmental energy (heat or light, especially sunlight) into mechanical energy remains a great challenge. Herein, freestanding carbon nitride films were prepared by the physical vapor deposition method using bulk g-C3N4 powder as a starting material. The carbon nitride films exhibited controllable deformation under the stimuli of heat and light. An alarm device for high temperature and an artificial hand for grasping and releasing objects were designed. By utilizing the photothermal effect, a smart curtain that could block the UV rays and a manipulator that could perform sophisticated mechanical work were demonstrated under the direct irradiation of natural and simulated sunlight. This work exploited the potential applications of carbon nitride polymers for the conversion of solar energy to mechanical energy.