3 years ago

Liquid crystal elastomer coatings with programmed response of surface profile

Liquid crystal elastomer coatings with programmed response of surface profile
Qi-Huo Wei, Dirk J. Broer, Albert P. H. J. Schenning, Yubing Guo, Oleg D. Lavrentovich, Matthew Hendrikx, Taras Turiv, Greta Babakhanova
Stimuli-responsive liquid crystal elastomers with molecular orientation coupled to rubber-like elasticity show a great potential as elements in soft robotics, sensing, and transport systems. The orientational order defines their mechanical response to external stimuli, such as thermally activated muscle-like contraction. Here we demonstrate a dynamic thermal control of the surface topography of an elastomer prepared as a coating with a pattern of in-plane molecular orientation. The inscribed pattern determines whether the coating develops elevations, depressions, or in-plane deformations when the temperature changes. The deterministic dependence of the out-of-plane dynamic profile on the in-plane orientation is explained by activation forces. These forces are caused by stretching-contraction of the polymer networks and by spatially varying molecular orientation. The activation force concept brings the responsive liquid crystal elastomers into the domain of active matter. The demonstrated relationship can be used to design coatings with functionalities that mimic biological tissues such as skin.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-02895-9

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-02895-9

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.