Actuating and sensing properties of nanoporous gold

E. Detsi, Z. G. Chen, W. P. Vellinga, P. R. Onck, J. T.M. De Hosson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


We show that variations in the relative humidity give rise to reversible macroscopic dimensional changes in nanoporous gold exposed to ambient air. The macroscopic strain is the consequence of changes in the nanoporous gold surface stress. We have measured reversible strain amplitudes up to 0.02% in response to a 15% change in relative humidity. The direct conversion into mechanical work of the energy involved in the liquid to vapor phase transition of water is attractive for environmentally friendly short-stroke actuator and sensor applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4951-4955
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 23 2012


  • Actuator
  • Humidity
  • Nanoporous Metals
  • Sensors
  • Strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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