It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Electroactive Polymers, or EAPs, are polymers that exhibit a change in size or shape when stimulated by an electric field. The most common applications of this type of material are in actuators and sensors. A typical characteristic property of an EAP is that they will undergo a large amount of deformation while sustaining large forces. The majority of historic actuators are made of ceramic piezoelectric materials. While these materials are able to withstand large forces, they commonly will only deform a fraction of a percent. In the late 1990s, it has been demonstrated that some EAPs can exhibit up to a 380% strain, which is much more than any ceramic actuator. One of the most common applications for EAPs is in the field of robotics in the development of artificial muscles; thus, an electroactive polymer is often referred to as an artificial muscle
The three actuation responses that can be achieved by artificial muscles are contraction, expansion, and rotation. These three components can be combined together within one body to produce other types of motions (e.g. bending: by contracting one side of the material while expanding the other side). Motors and pneumatic linear or rotary actuators may not be called artificial muscles because there are more than one part involved in the actuation.
Artificial muscles can be divided into four major groups based on their actuation mechanism :
Actuation based on applying electric field: Electroactive polymers (EAPs) such as dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs), relaxor ferroelectric polymers, and liquid crystal elastomers fall under this category.
Actuation based on gas pressure: Pneumatic artificial muscles (PAMs) operate by a pressurized air filling a pneumatic bladder. Upon applying gas pressure to the bladder, isotropic volume expansion is expected, however the tough braided wires that confines the bladder, translate the volume expansion to a linear contraction along the axis of the actuator. McKibben artificial muscle belongs to this category and can only contract or expand upon applying pressure.
Actuation based on movement of ions: In this category, in addition to application of electric field, ions are required to make the actuation happen; therefore, the actuation occurs in a wet environment. Ionic electroactive polymers (also known as wet electroactive polymers) such as conducting polymers, and ionic polymer metal composites (IPMC) belong to this group. Recently it has been demonstrated that twisted carbon nanotubes can be actuated in electrolyte upon applying electric field. 
Actuation based on thermal expansion: A new type of electric field activated, electrolyte-free muscles called twisted yarn actuators has been recently introduced to the field . The mechanism of operation is based on thermal expansion of a guest material within the conductive twisted structure. Materials with negative thermal expansion coefficient also can be engineered to actuate upon Joule heating.
In health care and medicine biological nanosensors are being developed in the next 5 years and will be used for fast and accurate diagnostics. Further ahead, nanotechnology may be used to build artificial muscle and 'lab on a chip' technology will develop more efficient drug discovery processes.
. Graphene is 100 times stronger than steel of the same thickness. It conducts both heat and electricity better than copper, and has outstanding optical and mechanical properties. If it could be produced on an industrial scale, graphene might revolutionize fields such as electronics and even body armor. Recently, the European Union awarded the Finnish company Nokia a $1.3 billion research grant to commercialize graphene. What follows are 10 areas in which graphene could make a huge difference -- some sooner than you think.
Graphene is the world's new wonder material. It's the thinnest electronic material ever invented, consisting of a layer of carbon atoms just a single atom thick -- the atoms are arranged in a hexagonal pattern. It weighs almost nothing, coming in at only 0.77 grams for a square meter.
Oh I am so glad I could be a help.
I knew there were things like this that used electric fields to move materials, but I didn't know it was so advanced, I thought it was just speculation at the moment. Thank you so much!!