Siloxane crosslinks with dynamic bond exchange enable shape programming in liquid-crystalline elastomers
Saed, Mohand O.
Terentjev, Eugene M.
Nature Publishing Group UK
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Saed, M. O., & Terentjev, E. M. (2020). Siloxane crosslinks with dynamic bond exchange enable shape programming in liquid-crystalline elastomers. Scientific Reports, 10 (1)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-63508-4
Abstract: Liquid crystalline elastomers (LCE) undergo reversible shape changes in response to stimuli, which enables a wide range of smart applications, in soft robotics, adhesive systems or biomedical medical devices. In this study, we introduce a new dynamic covalent chemistry based on siloxane equilibrium exchange into the LCE to enable processing (director alignment, remolding, and welding). Unlike the traditional siloxane based LCE, which were produced by reaction schemes with irreversible bonds (e.g. hydrosilylation), here we use a much more robust reaction (thiol-acrylate/thiol-ene ‘double-click’ chemistry) to obtain highly uniform dynamically crosslinked networks. Combining the siloxane crosslinker with click chemistry produces exchangeable LCE (xLCE) with tunable properties, low glass transition (−30 °C), controllable nematic to isotropic transition (33 to 70 °C), and a very high vitrification temperature (up to 250 °C). Accordingly, this class of dynamically crosslinked xLCE shows unprecedented thermal stability within the working temperature range (−50 to 140 °C), over many thermal actuation cycles without any creep. Finally, multiple xLCE sharing the same siloxane exchangeable bonds can be welded into single continuous structures to allow for composite materials that sequentially and reversibly undergo multiple phase transformations in different sections of the sample.
Article, /639/301/923/1028, /639/301/923/919, article
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-63508-4
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/321341