Light Controlled Materials: Light Controlled Microrobots Take a Leap Forward
Researchers at Tampere University of Technology have discovered a way to control materials through light. The researchers at the University have found a novel method by which they can control light controlled methods by configuring the light controlled materials. These light controlled materials can apparently change their shape, length and thickness in response to light. This feature allows these light controlled materials to be used in a host of applications ranging from tunable optics fields to micorobotics.
More on Light Controlled Materials:
In a typical situation, light controlled materials, exhibit only one pre- programmed state of deformation under a specific stimulus of light. An example would be where a light controlled material would twist or bend but not do both at the same time.
Under the new method, researchers use UV light to program what shape the material adopts to then get different movements by shining light on the material. This allows the light controlled material to change their shape, length and thickness in response to light.
Forming the Idea to Create Light Controlled Materials:
Researchers based their novel method in creating light controlled materials, on two basic light induced control mechanisms. They believe their method was based of ideas too simple of it having been thought of before by other researchers. By combining something which was already known into a new method, researchers were able to achieve a new way by which light controlled materials can be controlled by light.
A New Approach:
A new area or material is light controlled polymers which can be used in soft robotics.
The main thing that drove or still dries researchers is scientific curiosity and a need to identify all potential applications of a technology. Light controlled materials have applications in different fields such as microrobotics, biomaterials science as well as photonics. Tampere University of Technology has a strong reputation in all these fields as well as many collaborations.
Previous Achievements of the Light Controlled Materials Researchers:
One of the many successful achievements of the light controlled material researchers is the optical flytrap which was based of the Venus flytrap which ensnares its prey.
The optical flytrap so engineered by the group is a small elastomer strip which is less than a centimeter in length. This elastomer strip is glued onto an optical fibre into which blue light is joined.
When any object comes into the field of vision of the optical flytrap, it reflects light onto the elastomer surface which bends the strip around the object just like the Venus flytrap. This optical flytrap engineered by researches can capture objects more than 100 times its own weight.