Date of Degree
M. Lane Gilchrist
Biological and Chemical Physics | Engineering Physics
Peptidoglycan, Water-responsive materials, Evaporation energy harvesting, Nano-confined water
Water-responsive materials that reversibly deform in response to humidity changes show great potential for developing muscle-like actuators for miniature and biomimetic robotics. This thesis demonstrates that peptidoglycan exhibits ultrahigh water-responsive actuation energy and power densities, which are orders of magnitude higher than those of frequently used actuators, such as piezoelectric actuators and dielectric elastomers. Surprisingly, peptidoglycan exhibits an energy conversion efficiency of ~66.8%, which could be attributed to its super-viscous nanoconfined water that efficiently translates water’s movement to peptidoglycan’s mechanical deformation. The systematic water-responsive characterizations of peptidoglycan from different microorganisms and peptide crystals indicate that enhanced H-bonding interactions in water-responsive materials are critical to the efficient energy conversion from chemical potential of water to materials’ mechanical motions, suggesting guidelines for designing water-responsive materials with higher performance. Using peptidoglycan, we developed water-responsive composite actuators that can be integrated into a range of engineering structures, including a robotic gripper and linear actuators, which illustrate the possibilities of using peptidoglycan as building blocks for high-efficiency water-responsive actuators.
Wang, Haozhen, "High Water-Responsiveness of Peptidoglycan and its Water-Responsive Mechanism" (2022). CUNY Academic Works.
This work is embargoed and will be available for download on Monday, September 30, 2024
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