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01/17/2014

Light-activated smart curtains

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    The idea is to use carbon nanotubes to create battery-free 'smart curtains' able to automatically respond to changes in light.
    The curtains will be developed by laying carbon nanotubes on the surface of a plastic polycarbonate membrane. When the nanotubes absorb light, they will quickly convert it to heat that will then be transferred to the surface of the membrane. This heat will cause the plastic to expand while the nanotube layer will remain unchanged, in turn causing the material to bend. The size and direction of the chirality (the direction of the twist) of the nanotubes will also be altered to allow the material to respond differently to different wavelengths of light.
    In addition to curtains able to automatically close or open, the technology could also be applied to light-driven motors and robotics that will move toward or away from light sources.
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