A foldable compact actuator based on an oxetane liquid crystal network

Davey C. Hoekstra, Patricia P.M. Visser, Simon J.A. Houben, Johan Lub, Michael G. Debije, Albert P.H.J. Schenning (Corresponding author)

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The fabrication of a foldable, compact liquid crystal actuator based on oxetane reactive monomers is reported. The free-standing liquid crystal network films are optically clear, flexible, and have easily tunable anisotropic thermal and mechanical properties. The oxetane liquid crystal networks demonstrate excellent one-way shape memory properties, with good temporary shape fixation and complete shape recovery. In addition, the flexible polyether backbone of the oxetane liquid crystal networks results in large two-way bending actuation, with the actuators showing rotation inversion and making multiple rotations. Both actuation mechanisms could be combined to form actuators that can be temporarily folded before fully recovering to their original shape prior to use. As a result, the oxetane liquid crystal networks have great
potential as foldable, compact actuators.
Original languageEnglish
Article number075101
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Professor Dirk Broer for valuable discussions. This work was financially supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (No. TOP-PUNT 718.016.003).


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