3 years ago

Relaxation Dynamics and Strain Persistency of Azobenzene-Functionalized Polymers and Actuators

Relaxation Dynamics and Strain Persistency of Azobenzene-Functionalized Polymers and Actuators
Loon-Seng Tan, Timothy J. White, Sourav Chatterjee, David H. Wang, Amir A. Skandani, Meenakshisundaram Ravi Shankar, Matthew L. Smith
The accumulation of photoinduced deformation in azobenzene functionalized polymers has received a significant amount of attention in recent years. Critically, the induced photomechanical deformation in these systems experiences varying degrees of relaxation. Control over the persistence of photomechanical strains is vital to the broader utility of these materials in shape programmable systems including soft robotics and engineered origami. Furthermore, investigations of relaxation in light responsive polymer systems triggered by UV light are more prominent than those triggered by blue-green light. In this study, the impact of chain mobility and initially induced photostrain on the relaxation dynamics of azobenzene-functionalized polyimides after irradiation with blue light is examined. A modeling effort coupling chromophore population dynamics to material strain is carried out to further explore the relationship between material structure, relaxation dynamics, and macroscopic deformation. The implications for controlling strain persistence are highlighted by simulating one example of a photoprimed bistable actuator. Understanding the relaxation dynamics and strain persistency in photomechanical polymers is crucial to the development of these materials for functional devices. The relaxation of five azobenzene functionalized polyimides after irradiation with blue light is studied. A finite element model coupling chromophore population dynamics to material strain is used to clarify the material behavior and to explore a bistable actuator concept.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/mame.201700256

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