Optical motion control of maglev graphite

December 31, 2012

Graphite has been known as a typical diamagnetic material and can be levitated in the strong magnetic field. Here we show that the magnetically levitating pyrolytic graphite can be moved in the arbitrary place by simple photoirradiation. It is notable that the optical motion control system described in this paper requires only NdFeB permanent magnets and light source.

The optical movement is driven by photothermally induced changes in the magnetic susceptibility of the graphite. Moreover, we demonstrate that light energy can be converted into rotational kinetic energy by means of the photothermal property. We find that the levitating graphite disk rotates at over 200 rpm under the sunlight, making it possible to develop a new class of light energy conversion system.

—¬†Masayuki Kobayashi and Jiro Abe

H/T:  ian Clarke

Video Source: Masayuki Kobayashi and Jiro Abe, Aoyama Gakuin University

Optical Motion Control of Maglev Graphite