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6 April 2016 Towards photo-induced swimming: actuation of liquid crystalline elastomer in water
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Proceedings Volume 9738, Laser 3D Manufacturing III; 97380T (2016)
Event: SPIE LASE, 2016, San Francisco, California, United States
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.
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Giacomo Cerretti, Daniele Martella, Hao Zeng, Camilla Parmeggiani, Stefano Palagi, Andrew G. Mark, Kai Melde, Tian Qiu, Peer Fischer, and Diederik S. Wiersma "Towards photo-induced swimming: actuation of liquid crystalline elastomer in water", Proc. SPIE 9738, Laser 3D Manufacturing III, 97380T (6 April 2016);

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