Light-Driven Carbon-Based Soft Materials : Principle, Robotization, and Application

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Original languageEnglish
Article number2100035
Number of pages23
Journal / PublicationAdvanced Optical Materials
Issue number12
Online published7 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2021


Recently, the optical field driving mechanism is emerging in the manipulation of small-scale soft robots due to its remote, wireless, and selective control capabilities. Among the light-responsive materials, carbon has exhibited great potentials as light-driven actuators due to its good light absorption ability, thermal conductivity, and mechanical strength. Taking advantage of the carbon materials, various carbon-based actuators are reported with efficient, fast response, and stable actuating performance. Hence, carbon-based actuators are widely applied in robotic applications controlled by external light irradiation. This review summarizes the principle actuating mechanism of carbon-based actuators and focuses on the analysis of the robotization and application mechanisms. The locomotion implemented by the carbon-based actuators is discussed by analyzing the robot structure designs and light exposing approaches, accompanied with corresponding force analysis. Moreover, various applications of carbon-based actuators are reviewed with mechanism discussion. Furthermore, the challenges, including the perspectives of the robotization and applications of carbon-based actuators, are discussed for further development and robotic utilization of carbon-based materials.

Research Area(s)

  • aquatic locomotion, carbon-based actuators, robotic applications, soft robotics, terrestrial locomotion