Towards Smart Artificial Materials

  • Author:
  • Published: 14 January 2014
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Advanced Materials/Wiley-VCH
thumbnail image: Towards Smart Artificial Materials

Liquid-crystalline elastomers (LCEs) are the most promising candidates for smart artificial materials. This is in particular due to their capability to perform a reversible shape-change in response to external stimuli like temperature, electric field, or light.

Camilla Parmeggiani and Diederik Sybolt Wiersma, University of Florence and CNR-INO, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy, and colleagues have demonstrated that two-photon direct laser writing (DLW) is suitable for fabricating 1D, 2D, and 3D liquid crystal elastomer structures with sub-micrometer resolution. Moreover, the liquid-crystalline and optical properties of the written materials could be maintained.

They used a liquid-crystalline monomer mixture containing the LC monomer, a crosslinker, the photoinitiator Irgacure 369, and an azo-dye. After laser scanning, the molecules are crosslinked together. High-resolution 3D LCE structures in the desired shapes and dimensions were produced.

The researchers think that their results open up the road towards 3D microphotonics in elastomers, where their optically induced deformations can be used as a feedback mechanism to tune their optical properties. In addition, the researchers expect that this technique lays the basis for creating 3D, micrometer-size robotic structures, which can be controlled by light.

Article Views: 2592

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission. more

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on YouTube Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH