Smart Material Changes Shape in Light or Heat

Smart Material Changes Shape in Light or Heat
A new smart material that changes shape when exposed to light or heat could help bring such self-healing materials to the mainstream market.

Developed by a team from Washington State University, the material was designed to overcome the current limitations of smart materials, which are hard to make, perform only one function, and have actions that are difficult to repeat.

To that end, the team imbued liquid crystalline networks (LCNs) with azobenzene, and then added dynamic chemical bonds. The LCNs will change shape based on temperature, while the azobenzene bends in response to light, and the chemical bonds help to increase the repeatability of the process.

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