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Issue 12, 2013
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Actuators based on liquid crystalline elastomer materials

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Liquid crystalline elastomers (LCEs) exhibit a number of remarkable physical effects, including the unique, high-stroke reversible mechanical actuation when triggered by external stimuli. This article reviews some recent exciting developments in the field of LCE materials with an emphasis on their utilization in actuator applications. Such applications include artificial muscles, industrial manufacturing, health and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). With suitable synthetic and preparation pathways and well-controlled actuation stimuli, such as heat, light, electric and magnetic fields, excellent physical properties of LCE materials can be realized. By comparing the actuating properties of different systems, general relationships between the structure and the properties of LCEs are discussed. How these materials can be turned into usable devices using interdisciplinary techniques is also described.

Graphical abstract: Actuators based on liquid crystalline elastomer materials

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Jan 2013, accepted on 04 Apr 2013 and first published on 10 Apr 2013

Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR00037K
Citation: Nanoscale, 2013,5, 5225-5240
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    Actuators based on liquid crystalline elastomer materials

    H. Jiang, C. Li and X. Huang, Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 5225
    DOI: 10.1039/C3NR00037K

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