Plasmonic-Assisted Graphene Oxide Films with Enhanced Photothermal Actuation for Soft Robots

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number1910172
Journal / PublicationAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number14
Online published19 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2020


Carbon-based materials are widely used as light-driven soft actuators relying on their thermal desorption or expansion. However, applying a passive layer in such film construction greatly limits the actuating efficiency, e.g., bending amplitude and speed. In this work, a dual active layer strengthened bilayer composite film made of graphene oxide (GO)–polydopamine (PDA)–gold nanoparticles (Au NPs)/polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is developed. In this film, the conventional passive layer is replaced by another AuNPs-enhanced thermal responsive layer. When applying NIR light exposure, the whole film deforms controllably resulting from the water loss in the GO–PDA–Au NPs layer and thermal expansion in the PDMS layer. Benefiting from the dual active bilayer mechanism, the thin film's actuating efficiency is dramatically improved compared with that of conventional methods. Specifically, the bending amplitude is enhanced up to 173%, and the actuating speed is improved to 3.5-fold. The soft actuator can act as an artificial arm with high actuating strength and can be used as a wireless gripper. Moreover, the film can be designed as soft robots with various locomotion modes including linear, rolling, and steering motions. The developed composite film offers new opportunities for biomimetic soft robotics as well as future applications.

Research Area(s)

  • carbon-based materials, dual active bilayers, plasmonic-enhanced effects, soft manipulators, soft robotics