Provided is a light activated rotor comprising typically a plurality of vanes affixed to a hub rotatable around the longitudinal axis of an axle. Each vane comprises a planar surface oriented generally perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the axle with each vane separated into a first surface and a second surface. The first and second surface are adjacent and share a common boundary generally perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the axle. Additionally, the first and second surfaces have differing emissivities. When the light activated rotor is illuminated with a radiant flux, the differing emissivities of the first and second surfaces produce a temperature gradient across the vane and generally perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, and a thermal creep force across the planar surface of the vane generates a revolution of the vane and the affixed hub around the longitudinal axis of the axle.
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