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Polymers 2017, 9(7), 287;

A New Type of Photo-Thermo Staged-Responsive Shape-Memory Polyurethanes Network

Guangdong Research Center for Interfacial Engineering of Functional Materials, Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Polymer Science and Technology, Nanshan District Key Lab for Biopolymers and Safety Evaluation, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Functional Polymer, College of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, 518060, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Weimin Huang, Andreas Lendlein and Tao Xie
Received: 2 July 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shape Memory Polymers)
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In this paper, we developed a photo-thermo staged-responsive shape-memory polymer network which has a unique ability of being spontaneously photo-responsive deformable and thermo-responsive shape recovery. This new type of shape-memory polyurethane network (A-SMPUs) was successfully synthesized with 4,4-azodibenzoic acid (Azoa), hexamethylenediisocyanate (HDI) and polycaprolactone (PCL), followed by chemical cross-linking with glycerol (Gl). The structures, morphology, and shape-memory properties of A-SMPUs have been carefully investigated. The results demonstrate that the A-SMPUs form micro-phase separation structures consisting of a semi-crystallized PCL soft phase and an Azoa amorphous hard phase that could influence the crystallinity of PCL soft phases. The chemical cross-linking provided a stable network and good thermal stability to the A-SMPUs. All A-SMPUs exhibited good triple-shape-memory properties with higher than 97% shape fixity ratio and 95% shape recovery ratio. Additionally, the A-SMPUs with higher Azoa content exhibited interesting photo-thermo two-staged responsiveness. A pre-processed film with orientated Azoa structure exhibited spontaneous curling deformation upon exposing to ultraviolet (UV) light, and curling deformation is constant even under Vis light. Finally, the curling deformation can spontaneously recover to the original shape by applying a thermal stimulus. This work demonstrates new synergistically multi-responsive SMPUs that will have many applications in smart science and technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: azobenzene; polyurethane; shape memory; photo; responsiveness azobenzene; polyurethane; shape memory; photo; responsiveness

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Yang, J.; Wen, H.; Zhuo, H.; Chen, S.; Ban, J. A New Type of Photo-Thermo Staged-Responsive Shape-Memory Polyurethanes Network. Polymers 2017, 9, 287.

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