The application of reprocessable and reprogrammable soft actuators is limited by the synthetic strategies, 3D-shaping capabilities, and small deformations. In this work, melt-processable supramolecular soft actuators based on segmented copolymers containing thiourethane and liquid crystal segments have been prepared via sequential thiol addition reactions in a one-pot approach using commercially available building blocks. The actuators demonstrated immediate, reversible response and weightlifting capabilities with large deformations up to 32%. Through exploiting the supramolecular cross-links, the material could be recycled and reprogrammed into 3D actuators and welded into an actuator assembly with different deformation modes. Our work offers a one-pot synthesis and straightforward melt-processable approach to prepare supramolecular soft actuators with large deformations that can be reprocessed and reprogrammed into arbitrary 3D shapes.
The authors would like to thank current and former colleagues for their valuable suggestions and discussions. The described research study is part of the project PRIME. This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no. 829010 (PRIME).
|European Union 's Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Programme