, Ying Yang
, Jian Wang
, Ruoping Fu
, Xinxin Zhao
, Lei Zhao
, Yue Ming
, Ying Hu
, Xiaoming Tao
, Yuliang Li
& Wei Chen
Electrochemical actuators directly converting electrical energy to mechanical energy are
critically important for artiﬁcial intelligence. However, their energy transduction efﬁciency is
always lower than 1.0% because electrode materials lack active units in microstructure, and
their assembly systems can hardly express the intrinsic properties. Here, we report a
molecular-scale active graphdiyne-based electrochemical actuator with a high electro-
mechanical transduction efﬁciency of up to 6.03%, exceeding that of the best-known pie-
zoelectric ceramic, shape memory alloy and electroactive polymer reported before, and its
energy density (11.5 kJ m
) is comparable to that of mammalian skeletal muscle (~8 kJ m
Meanwhile, the actuator remains responsive at frequencies from 0.1 to 30 Hz with excellent
cycling stability over 100,000 cycles. Furthermore, we verify the alkene–alkyne complex
transition effect responsible for the high performance through in situ sum frequency gen-
eration spectroscopy. This discovery sheds light on our understanding of actuation
mechanisms and will accelerate development of smart actuators.
i-Lab, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215123, P. R. China.
University of Chinese Academy of
Sciences, Beijing 100049, P. R. China.
Institute of Industry & Equipment Technology, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, Anhui 230009, P. R. China.
Nanotechnology Centre for Intelligent Textiles and Apparel, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong 999077,
P. R. China.
Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences (BNLMS), Institute of Chemistry, CAS Research/Education Center for Excellence in
Molecular Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China. Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to
H.L. (email: email@example.com) or to X.T. (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or to Y.L. (email: email@example.com)
or to W.C. (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)