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Polymers 2010, 2(4), 454-469; doi:10.3390/polym2040454

Design and Application of Nanoscale Actuators Using Block-Copolymers

1 Department of Chemistry, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S3 7HF, UK 2 Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2010 / Revised: 8 October 2010 / Accepted: 14 October 2010 / Published: 15 October 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Structures of Block Copolymers)
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Block copolymers are versatile designer macromolecules where a “bottom-up” approach can be used to create tailored materials with unique properties. These simple building blocks allow us to create actuators that convert energy from a variety of sources (such as chemical, electrical and heat) into mechanical energy. In this review we will discuss the advantages and potential pitfalls of using block copolymers to create actuators, putting emphasis on the ways in which these materials can be synthesised and processed. Particular attention will be given to the theoretical background of microphase separation and how the phase diagram can be used during the design process of actuators. Different types of actuation will be discussed throughout.
Keywords: microphase separation; block copolymer; actuators; physical gels; non-covalent interactions microphase separation; block copolymer; actuators; physical gels; non-covalent interactions
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Swann, J.M.G.; Topham, P.D. Design and Application of Nanoscale Actuators Using Block-Copolymers. Polymers 2010, 2, 454-469.

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