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Proceedings Paper

Towards photo-induced swimming: actuation of liquid crystalline elastomer in water
Author(s): Giacomo Cerretti; Daniele Martella; Hao Zeng; Camilla Parmeggiani; Stefano Palagi; Andrew G. Mark; Kai Melde; Tian Qiu; Peer Fischer; Diederik S. Wiersma
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Paper Abstract

Liquid Crystalline Elastomers (LCEs) are very promising smart materials that can be made sensitive to different external stimuli, such as heat, pH, humidity and light, by changing their chemical composition. In this paper we report the implementation of a nematically aligned LCE actuator able to undergo large light-induced deformations. We prove that this property is still present even when the actuator is submerged in fresh water. Thanks to the presence of azo-dye moieties, capable of going through a reversible trans-cis photo-isomerization, and by applying light with two different wavelengths we managed to control the bending of such actuator in the liquid environment. The reported results represent the first step towards swimming microdevices powered by light.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 April 2016
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 9738, Laser 3D Manufacturing III, 97380T (6 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2219855
Show Author Affiliations
Giacomo Cerretti, Univ. degli Studi di Firenze (Italy)
Daniele Martella, Univ. degli Studi di Firenze (Italy)
Hao Zeng, Univ. degli Studi di Firenze (Italy)
Camilla Parmeggiani, Univ. degli Studi di Firenze (Italy)
Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, CNR (Italy)
Stefano Palagi, Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme (Germany)
Andrew G. Mark, Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme (Germany)
Kai Melde, Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme (Germany)
Tian Qiu, Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme (Germany)
Peer Fischer, Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme (Germany)
Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Diederik S. Wiersma, Univ. delgi Studi di Firenze (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9738:
Laser 3D Manufacturing III
Bo Gu; Henry Helvajian; Alberto Piqué, Editor(s)

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