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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Oct 26;99(17):174302. Epub 2007 Oct 25.

Linear and nonlinear photoinduced deformations of cantilevers.

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  • 1Cavendish Laboratory, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HE, United Kingdom.


Glassy and elastomeric nematic networks with dye molecules present can be very responsive to illumination, huge reversible strains being possible. If absorption is appreciable, strain decreases with depth into a cantilever, leading to bend that is the basis of micro-opto-mechanical systems (MOMS). Bend actually occurs even when Beer's law suggests a tiny penetration of light into a heavily dye-doped system. We model the nonlinear opto-elastic processes behind this effect. In the regime of cantilever thickness giving optimal bending for a given incident light intensity, there are three neutral surfaces. In practice such nonlinear absorptive effects are very important since heavily doped systems are commonly used.

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