Research ArticleENGINEERING

Stimuli-responsive and on-chip nanomembrane micro-rolls for enhanced macroscopic visual hydrogen detection

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Science Advances  06 Apr 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 4, eaap8203
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aap8203


Nanomembrane rolling offers advanced three-dimensional (3D) mesostructures in electronics, optics, and biomedical applications. We demonstrate a high-density and on-chip array of rolled-up nanomembrane actuators with stimuli-responsive function based on the volume expansion of palladium in hydrogen milieu. The uniform stimuli-responsive behavior of high-density nanomembrane rolls leads to huge macroscopic visual detection with more than 50% transmittance change under optimization of micropattern design. The reversible shape changing between rolled and flat (unrolled) statuses can be well explained on the basis of the elastic mechanical model. The strain change in the palladium layer during hydrogen absorption and desorption produces a marked change in the diameter of nanomembrane rolls. We found that a functional palladium layer established an external compressive strain after hydrogen stimuli and thus also reduced the rolls’ diameters. The large area of the nanomembrane roll array performs excellent nonelectrical hydrogen detection, with response and recovery speeds within seconds. Our work suggests a new strategy to integrate high-density 3D mesoscale architectures into functional devices and systems.

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