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Issue 16, 2011
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Reversible white-light actuation of carbon nanotube incorporated liquid crystalline elastomer nanocomposites

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Abstract

We present single-wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) incorporated liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) nanocomposites that demonstrate strong, reversible photoactuation. The matrix nematic LCE material possesses reversible thermal deformation, while SWCNTs perform photothermal energy conversion and local heat dissipation upon irradiation. The resultant SWCNT–LCE nanocomposites exhibit effective photoactuation not only by infrared (IR) irradiation, but also white light with an intensity on the order of 100 mW cm−2. Rapid and reversible photo-induced strain was observed. The nanocomposite films contracted up to one third of the original length in several seconds under the irradiation of white light, and recovered to the original length in several seconds after the light source was switched off. Moreover, the nematic–isotropic transition temperatures of the SWCNT–LCE nanocomposites were evidently lower than that of the blank LCE by up to 19 °C.

Graphical abstract: Reversible white-light actuation of carbon nanotube incorporated liquid crystalline elastomer nanocomposites

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Apr 2011, accepted on 31 May 2011 and first published on 11 Jul 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05776F
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 7511-7516
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    Reversible white-light actuation of carbon nanotube incorporated liquid crystalline elastomer nanocomposites

    C. Li, Y. Liu, C. Lo and H. Jiang, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 7511
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05776F

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