A microgel clock
Clocks and heat engines have in common that they periodically absorb energy from a reservoir and use it to keep up the periodic motion of a movable component. In this project, we plan to develop a mesoscopic microgel- based clock that executes periodic motions and is driven by continuous-wave laser light. Energy is fed into the system by photothermal heating due to absorption of the light by gold nanoparticles embedded in a microgel structure that is capable of mechanically bistable behavior. The photothermal heat generation resulting from the absorption leads to a contracting or bending motion of the microgel structure. A feedback mechanism will be developed by which this motion reduces the absorption. The resultant cooling causes a motion in the opposite direction, restoring the absorption. Thus motions of the microgel cause absorption changes of the nanoparticles, and vice versa. This concept should enable self-oscillations of the microgel structure under continuous irradiation.
Mourran, Ahmed, Dr. rer. net.
DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials
+49 241 80 23330
von Plessen, Gero, Prof. Dr. rer. nat.
I. Institute of Physics
RWTH Aachen University
+49 241 80 27161