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Materials 2013, 6(1), 116-142; doi:10.3390/ma6010116
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Photo-Responsive Shape-Memory and Shape-Changing Liquid-Crystal Polymer Networks

1,*  and 2
1 Max-Planck-Institut für Eisen Forschung GmbH, Max-Planck-str.1, 40237, Düsseldorf, Germany 2 Institute of Chemistry, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Von-Danckelmann-Platz 4, 06120 Halle, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2012 / Revised: 14 December 2012 / Accepted: 24 December 2012 / Published: 2 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli-Responsive Materials)

Abstract

“Surrounding matters” is a phrase that has become more significant in recent times when discussing polymeric materials. Although regular polymers do respond to external stimuli like softening of material at higher temperatures, that response is gradual and linear in nature. Smart polymers (SPs) or stimuli-responsive polymers (SRPs) behave differently to those external stimuli, as their behavior is more rapid and nonlinear in nature and even a small magnitude of external stimulus can cause noticeable changes in their shape, size, color or conductivity. Of these SRPs, two types of SPs with the ability to actively change can be differentiated: shape-memory polymers and shape-changing polymers. The uniqueness of these materials lies not only in the fast macroscopic changes occurring in their structure but also in that some of these shape changes are reversible. This paper presents a brief review of current progress in the area of light activated shape-memory polymers and shape-changing polymers and their possible field of applications.
Keywords: smart materials; shape-memory polymers; shape-changing polymers; liquid-crystalline networks; liquid-crystalline elastomers; azobenzenes smart materials; shape-memory polymers; shape-changing polymers; liquid-crystalline networks; liquid-crystalline elastomers; azobenzenes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Iqbal, D.; Samiullah, M.H. Photo-Responsive Shape-Memory and Shape-Changing Liquid-Crystal Polymer Networks. Materials 2013, 6, 116-142.

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