Opposite Self-Folding Behavior of Polymeric Photoresponsive Actuators Enabled by a Molecular Approach

Year: 2019

Authors: Martella D., Nocentini S., Antonioli D., Laus M., Wiersma DS., Parmeggiani C.

Autors Affiliation: European Lab Nonlinear Spect LENS, Via Nello Carrara 1, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; CNR INO, Natl Inst Opt, Via Nello Carrara 1, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; Univ Piemonte Orientale, Dipartimento Sci & Innovaz Tecnol DISIT, INSTM, UdR Alessandria, Viale T Michel 11, I-15121 Alessandria, Italy; Univ Florence, Dept Phys & Astrophys, Via G Sansone 1, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; Ist Nazl Ric Metrol INRiM, Str Cacce 91, I-10135 Turin, Italy; Univ Florence, Dept Chem Ugo Schiff, Via N Carrara 3-13, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy

Abstract: The ability to obtain 3D polymeric objects by a 2D-to-3D shape-shifting method is very appealing for polymer integration with different materials, from metals in electronic devices to cells in biological studies. Such functional reshaping can be achieved through self-folding driven by a strain pattern designed into the molecular network. Among polymeric materials, liquid crystalline networks (LCNs) present an anisotropic molecular structure that can be exploited to tailor internal strain, resulting in a natural non-planar geometry when prepared in the form of flat films. In this article, we analyze the influence of different molecular parameters of the monomers on the spontaneous shape of the polymeric films and their deformation under different stimuli, such as heating or light irradiation. Modifying the alkilic chains of the crosslinkers is a simple and highly effective way to increase the temperature sensitivity of the final actuator, while modifying ester orientation on the aromatic core interestingly acts on the bending direction. Combining such effects, we have demonstrated that LCN stripes made of different monomeric mixtures originate complex non-symmetric deformation under light activation, thus opening up new applications in photonic and robotics.

Journal/Review: POLYMERS

Volume: 11 (10)      Pages from: 1644-1  to: 1644-13

More Information: This research was funded by Laserlab-Europe EU-H2020 654148 and from Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze (grant 2017/0713).
KeyWords: liquid crystalline networks; photoresponsive polymers; shape-changing materials; curvature design; photonic actuators
DOI: 10.3390/polym11101644

Citations: 7
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