Chensha Li, Ye Liu, Xuezhen Huang and Hongrui Jiang Direct Sun-Driven Artificial Heliotropism for Solar Energy Harvesting Based on a Photo-Thermomechanical Liquid-Crystal Elastomer Nanocomposite Advanced Functional Materials 22
A photo-thermomechanical liquid-crystalline elastomer (LCE) nanocomposite is developed and utilized to realize artificial heliotropism. The LCE nanocomposite actuators respond to light and, in turn, drive solar cells to track the light source. Full-range heliotropism is shown in both laboratory and in-field tests under natural sunlight. A significant increase in the photocurrent output from the solar cells in the artificial heliotropic devices is observed.
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