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Water hydrogen bonding

Water Hydrogen Bonding

The article ‘Actuators powered by water hydrogen bonds’ was written by Pance Naumov to illustrate how water hydrogen bonds can drive actuators that contain hygroresponsive materials. The article describes the mechanisms of water exchange and how a mechanical force is generated when hygroresponsive materials are used in actuators. According to the author of the article, water hydrogen bonds play a significant role in the mechanical robustness of water-responsive materials.

Even though the author points out that there is limited information regarding the use of water in powering tiny organic crystals, he thoroughly explains the molecular mechanisms leading to the application of water-responsive materials in actuators. The evaporation of water from nonporous tripeptide crystals makes the crystals deform due to the hydrogen bonds inside the pores becoming stronger (Li and Gu 287). The strengthened hydrogen bonds make the surrounding supramolecular structure distorted; this creates forces within the crystal lattice that cause actuation.

However, the author notes that not all hygroresponsive materials can be used in actuators. The use of these materials for actuation depends on the actuation energy densities and response times. Materials operating at actuation energy densities as high as tens of megajoules per cubic meter are have shown to be effective when used in actuators. Besides, it is necessary for materials to have short response times (Li and Gu 288). Also, the utilization of hygroresponsive materials in actuators depends on their softness and strength. The author indicates that soft and strong materials are effective in producing actuations.

The main discussion of the article is related to energy since it focuses on the molecular basis of the production of energy from hygroresponsive materials. The author of the article describes how mechanical energy is produced from water-responsive materials. In addition, the author highlights the areas where this mechanical energy can be utilized. He notes that the energy produced can be used in biomimetic actuators.

One of the applications of mechanical energy generated from hygroresponsive materials, as discussed in the article, is it can be used in simple hybrid actuators. Simple hybrid actuators have a polyimide film coated with resin and solid tripeptide crystals made of histidine (H), phenylalanine (F), tyrosine (Y), and aspartic acid (D). The crystalline solids used in the actuators, including YFD, DYF, and HYF act at high actuation densities of between 5 and 88 kJ m–3. The diffusion of water in and out of the crystals takes only a few seconds, and about 11% to 149% of water is absorbed by the crystals upon hydration. This leads to an increase in the volume of the crystals by 3% to 25%(Li and Gu 288). As a result, the respective bilayer structures are bent by the momentum generated by these changes. The high actuation energy density in the actuator based on the HYF peptide, which can be compared to natural materials, shows that these materials can be used in biogenic actuating systems.

Based on the discussion concerning the significance of chemical groups and porous structure hygroresponsive materials, the author implies that other chemical groups other than hydrogen bonds can be utilized in the production of actuation. For instance, amorphous matrices with mechanically coupled magnetic nanoparticle dynamic elements embedded in them are an effective strategy in enhancing the retention and exchange of water(Li and Gu 288). This implies that even more chemical groups can be used in hygroresponsive materials to improve water exchange.

One of the critical questions raised in the article is what contributes to the mechanical robustness of water-responsive materials during water exchange. This is because hygroresponsive materials are known to be amorphous, or they turn amorphous during water exchange. Although there is limited information regarding the robustness of hygroresponsive materials, the author of the article suggests that water hydrogen bonding contributes significantly to the mechanical robustness of these materials. It is suggested that the water bonding to the pores in the structure of water-responsive materials increases on dehydration of the materials.

Since there is limited information on the mechanisms of water exchange, the author also raises the question of how water exchange occurs in hygroresponsive materials for them to produce actuation. It is suggested that hydrogen bonds also facilitate water exchange in the materials(Li and Gu 288). This is because the bonds have a high compliance such that they can be broken and reformed at a low energy cost. Therefore, the bonds easily break, making water diffuse out and they also reform easily, making water diffuse in. Besides, hydrogen bonds make the materials reversibly absorb water without collapsing. This shows that hydrogen bonds play a great role in the reversibility of water-responsive materials.

Overall, the ability of hygroresponsive materials to cause actuation depends on the presence of water hydrogen bonds. Water hydrogen bonds significantly contribute to the mechanical robustness of the materials. They also facilitate water exchange since they can easily be broken and reformed at a low-cost energy. However, hygroresponsive materials can also have other chemical groups to facilitate water exchange. Therefore, the ability of the materials to produce actions depends on their softness and strength.

Work Cited

Li, Hongjun, and Zhen Gu. Actuators Powered by Water Hydrogen Bonds. Vol. 20, no. March 2021, pp. 287–288, doi:10.1038/s41563-021-00944-1.


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Water Hydrogen Bonding

1. Identify an article which has appeared in a print periodical OR reputable science/news website since January 1st of 2018 that is related, at least loosely, in some way to the subject matter of the module (e.g. life, energy, nutrition, genetics, climate change, bioethics, biotechnology, etc.). This should be a news article. DO NOT use a textbook or “encyclopedia”-type source.

Water Hydrogen Bonding

Water Hydrogen Bonding

2. Briefly summarize the article, describing direct and indirect connections to course topics/discussions.
3. Briefly describe TWO implications/applications implied, surfaced, discussed in the article and their significance.
4. Include descriptions of TWO important or critical questions raised in/by the article.
5. It is important that the paper be well written, properly sourced/cited (any standard format), 3-5 pages (12pt, 1” margins, double-spaced). THREE FULL PAGES of text IS AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM. This length will NOT INCLUDE headers (e.g. your name), figures, references, etc.

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