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Creators/Authors contains: "Liang, Zexi"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 13, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 27, 2024
  3. To develop active materials that can efficiently respond to external stimuli with designed mechanical motions is a major obstacle that have hindered the realization nanomachines and nanorobots. Here, we present our finding and investigation of an original working mechanism that allows multifold reconfigurable motion control in both rotation and alignment of semiconductor micromotors in an AC electric field with simple visible-light stimulation. In our previous work, we reported the instantly switchable electrorotation owing to the optically tunable imaginary part of electric polarization of a semiconductor nanowire in aqueous suspension[1]. Here we provide further experimental confirmation along with numerical simulation. Moreover, according to the Kramers-Kronig relation, the real part of the electric polarization should also be optically tunable, which can be experimentally verified with tests of electro-alignment of a nanowire. Here, we report our experimental study of light effect on electro-alignment along with theoretical simulation to complete the investigation of opto-tunable electric polarization of a semiconductor nanowire. Finally, we demonstrate a micromotor with periodically oscillating rotation with simple asymmetric exposure to a light pattern. This research could inspire development of a new class of micro/nanomachines with agile and spatially defined maneuverability. 
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  4. Abstract

    To develop active nanomaterials that can instantly respond to external stimuli with designed mechanical motions is an important step towards the realization of nanorobots. Herein, we present our finding of a versatile working mechanism that allows instantaneous change of alignment direction and speed of semiconductor nanowires in an external electric field with simple visible-light exposure. The light induced alignment switch can be cycled over hundreds of times and programmed to express words in Morse code. With theoretical analysis and simulation, the working principle can be attributed to the optically tuned real-part (in-phase) electrical polarization of a semiconductor nanowire in aqueous suspension. The manipulation principle is exploited to create a new type of microscale stepper motor that can readily switch between in-phase and out-phase modes, and agilely operate independent of neighboring motors with patterned light. This work could inspire the development of new types of micro/nanomachines with individual and reconfigurable maneuverability for many applications.

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  5. Highly efficient and widely applicable working mechanisms that allow nanomaterials and devices to respond to external stimuli with controlled mechanical motions could make far-reaching impact to reconfigurable, adaptive, and robotic nanodevices. We report an innovative mechanism that allows multifold reconfiguration of mechanical rotation of semiconductor nanoentities in electric ( E ) fields by visible light stimulation. When illuminated by light in the visible-to-infrared regime, the rotation speed of semiconductor Si nanowires in E -fields can instantly increase, decrease, and even reverse the orientation, depending on the intensity of the applied light and the AC E -field frequency. This multifold rotational reconfiguration is highly efficient, instant, and facile. Switching between different modes can be simply controlled by the light intensity at an AC frequency. We carry out experiments, theoretical analysis, and simulations to understand the underlying principle, which can be attributed to the optically tunable polarization of Si nanowires in an aqueous suspension and an external E -field. Finally, leveraging this newly discovered effect, we successfully differentiate semiconductor and metallic nanoentities in a noncontact and nondestructive manner. This research could inspire a new class of reconfigurable nanoelectromechanical and nanorobotic devices for optical sensing, communication, molecule release, detection, nanoparticle separation, and microfluidic automation. 
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  8. Abstract

    Recent progress in artificial nanomachines offers promising solutions to grand challenges in biochemical delivery and diagnostics. In this work, advances of micro/nanomachines made of synthesized micro/nanostructures for applications in delivery and detection of biomolecules are reviewed, along with a discussion of pros and cons of each type of machine. The review of micro/nanomachines is categorized according to their working mechanisms, including motion actuation realized by magnetic, electric, and acoustic fields and chemical reactions. The developments of micro/nanomachines are discussed in depth in the fabrication, propulsion, and motion control, loading and releasing of micro/nanosubstances, and biochemical sensing. The rapid development of man‐made miniaturized machines paves the road toward future intelligent nanorobots and nanofactories that can revolutionize society.

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