Efficient, absorption-powered artificial muscles based on carbon nanotube hybrid yarns
A new type of absorption-powered artificial muscle provides high performance without needing a temperature change. These muscles, comprising coiled carbon nanotube fibers infiltrated with silicone rubber, can contract up to 50% to generate up to 1.2 kJ kg−1. The drive mechanism for actuation is the rubber swelling during exposure to a nonpolar solvent. Theoretical energy efficiency conversion can be as high as 16%.