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Keywords:

  • composites;
  • optical properties;
  • sensors and actuators;
  • nanotubes;
  • graphene and fullerenes

ABSTRACT

This article presents an optomechanical actuator, which is driven by infra red (IR) radiation. The actuator is a nanocomposite-containing graphene platelets embedded in poly(styrene-b-isoprene-b-styrene) (SIS) matrix. 0.1 mm thick free-standing nanocomposite films are fabricated by a simple process of solvent casting. We demonstrate that graphene/SIS nanocomposite contracts on irradiation with IR radiation under strained conditions, whereas expansion behavior was exhibited by them when no prestrain is applied. A maximum photomechanical stress of 28.34 kPa and strain upto 3.1% was obtained for these nanocomposite actuators. We have also studied the mechanical characteristics and thermal degradation of these nanocomposite actuators. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 3902–3908, 2013