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Electrochemically Responsive 3D Nanoarchitectures.

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Wang, Heng 
Sanders, Kate A 


Responsive nanomaterials are being developed to create new unique functionalities such as switchable colors and adhesive properties or other programmable features in response to external stimuli. While many existing examples rely on changes in temperature, humidity, or pH, this study aims to explore an alternative approach relying on simple electric input signals. More specifically, 3D electrochromic architected microstructures are developed using carbon nanotube-Tin (Sn) composites that can be reconfigured by lithiating Sn with low power electric input (≈50 nanowatts). These microstructures have a continuous, regulated, and non-volatile actuation determined by the extent of the electrochemical lithiation process. In addition, this proposed fabrication process relies only on batch lithographic techniques, enabling the parallel production of thousands of 3D microstructures. Structures with a 30-97% change in open-end area upon actuation are demonstrated and the importance of geometric factors in the response and structural integrity of 3D architected microstructures during electrochemical actuation is highlighted.


Publication status: Published

Funder: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; doi:


carbon nanotubes, electrochemical actuation, hierarchical 3D nanoarchitectures, responsive structures

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Adv Mater

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European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) ERC (866005)
EPSRC (EP/V050923/1)