Research ArticleMATERIALS SCIENCE

Shape memory polymer network with thermally distinct elasticity and plasticity

Science Advances  08 Jan 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 1, e1501297
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501297

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Abstract

Stimuli-responsive materials with sophisticated yet controllable shape-changing behaviors are highly desirable for real-world device applications. Among various shape-changing materials, the elastic nature of shape memory polymers allows fixation of temporary shapes that can recover on demand, whereas polymers with exchangeable bonds can undergo permanent shape change via plasticity. We integrate the elasticity and plasticity into a single polymer network. Rational molecular design allows these two opposite behaviors to be realized at different temperature ranges without any overlap. By exploring the cumulative nature of the plasticity, we demonstrate easy manipulation of highly complex shapes that is otherwise extremely challenging. The dynamic shape-changing behavior paves a new way for fabricating geometrically complex multifunctional devices.

Keywords
  • Stimuli-responsive polymer
  • shape memory polymer
  • dynamic reversible bond
  • origami

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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