A promising candidate for the development of stimuli-responsive morphing materials are based on liquid crystal polymer networks. These anisotropic materials will contract along the alignment director and expand perpendicular to it when subjected to an anisotropy-reducing stimulus, such as heat. As the liquid crystals can be aligned prior to polymerization using various alignment techniques, it is possible to create networks with programmed, complex director profiles in three dimensions. This review shows the various designs that can be implemented and the complex morphing behavior that can be achieved in liquid crystal polymer networks.
- Liquid crystal polymer network
- Polymer actuator
- Stimuli-responsive material