Liquid Crystal Elastomer-Based Magnetic Composite Films for Reconfigurable Shape-Morphing Soft Miniature Machines

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

116 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Yubing Guo
  • Wenqi Hu
  • Ren Hao Soon
  • Zoey S. Davidson
  • Metin Sitti

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number2006191
Journal / PublicationAdvanced Materials
Volume33
Issue number8
Online published14 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Link(s)

Abstract

Stimuli-responsive and active materials promise radical advances for many applications. In particular, soft magnetic materials offer precise, fast, and wireless actuation together with versatile functionality, while liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) are capable of large reversible and programmable shape-morphing with high work densities in response to various environmental stimuli, e.g., temperature, light, and chemical solutions. Integrating the orthogonal stimuli-responsiveness of these two kinds of active materials could potentially enable new functionalities and future applications. Here, magnetic microparticles (MMPs) are embedded into an LCE film to take the respective advantages of both materials without compromising their independent stimuli-responsiveness. This composite material enables reconfigurable magnetic soft miniature machines that can self-adapt to a changing environment. In particular, a miniature soft robot that can autonomously alter its locomotion mode when it moves from air to hot liquid, a vine-like filament that can sense and twine around a support, and a light-switchable magnetic spring are demonstrated. The integration of LCEs and MMPs into monolithic structures introduces a new dimension in the design of soft machines and thus greatly enhances their use in applications in complex environments, especially for miniature soft robots, which are self-adaptable to environmental changes while being remotely controllable.

Research Area(s)

  • liquid crystal elastomers, magnetic composites, programmable shape-morphing, soft machines, stimuli-responsive materials

Citation Format(s)

Liquid Crystal Elastomer-Based Magnetic Composite Films for Reconfigurable Shape-Morphing Soft Miniature Machines. / Zhang, Jiachen; Guo, Yubing; Hu, Wenqi et al.
In: Advanced Materials, Vol. 33, No. 8, 2006191, 24.02.2021.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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