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Liquid crystals shape up on demand

from Chemistry World

A new method for programming intricate shape changes in liquid crystal elastomers could enable new advances in soft robotics, biomedical devices and 3D printing. Liquid crystal elastomers have a crosslinked structure made of overlapping liquid crystal polymer networks. Like elastomers, they are stretchy and malleable, and they can self-organise like the liquid crystals in flat screen television displays. They change shape in response to stimuli such as heat, UV light or electric fields, and recently, they have been in the spotlight as candidates for artificial muscles in robots. more


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