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 piezoelectric ceramic, shape memory alloy and electroactive polymer reported before, and its energy density (11.5 kJ m−3) is comparable to that of mammalian skeletal muscle (~8 kJ m−3). 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 generation spectroscopy. This discovery sheds light on our understanding of actuation mechanisms and will accelerate development of smart actuators.
Nature Communications – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 21, 2018
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