High-performance graphdiyne-based electrochemical actuators

Chao Lu, Ying Yang, Jian Wang, Ruoping Fu, Xinxin Zhao, Lei Zhao, Yue Ming, Ying Hu, Hongzhen Lin, Xiaoming Tao, Yuliang Li, Wei Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

272 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number752
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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