Crikey! Convection Curls Clever Crystal Cantilever Contraption in Chem Comm!
Madushani Dharmarwardana and Raymond Welch have just published a paper in Chemical Communications showing thermal actuation in a single crystal. This is cool because the actuation is powered by a single-crystal to single-crystal phase transition (a monoclinic to triclinic phase transition) that accompanies an enormous change in unit cell. When glued to a glass plate, this anisotropic change causes the crystal to lift away from the heat. We show that the single crystals can lift almost 100 times their weight!