As energy demands increase, new, more direct, energy collection and utilization processes must be explored. We present a system that intrinsically combines the absorption of sunlight with the production of useful work in the form of locomotion of objects on liquids. Focused sunlight is locally absorbed by a nanostructured composite, creating a thermal surface tension gradient and, subsequently, motion. Controlled linear motion and rotational motion are demonstrated. The system is scale independent, with remotely powered and controlled motion shown for objects in the milligram to tens of grams range.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry