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Complex shape deformations of homogeneous poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)/graphene oxide hydrogels programmed by local NIR irradiation

Abstract

Stimuli-responsive hydrogels with programmable shape deformations upon external stimuli have promising applications in diverse fields. Complex shape deformation through precise remote control of the direction, position and degree of deformation is critical for the practical applications. Here we describe a novel and simple method that enables remote and instant programming the deformation direction, position and degree of homogeneous poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)/graphene oxide (PNIPAM/GO) nanocomposite hydrogels through local near infrared (NIR) laser irradiation. Under NIR irradiation, GO nanosheets absorb NIR light, which transforms into heat and induces the phase transition of PNIPAM. Due to the slow heat transfer of the hydrogels, the irradiated part of the PNIPAM/GO hydrogels shrinks more than the un-irradiated part, leading to the folding or bending of the gels towards the irradiated part. The deformation degree of the hydrogels can be adjusted by changing the composition (e.g. GO concentration) or the thickness of the hydrogels and the irradiation parameters, including power density of NIR laser and irradiation time. Very impressively, by simple programming the local irradiation on different parts of hydrogel strips, sheets and gel samples with other shapes, the hydrogel samples can undergo complex shape deformations from 1D to 2D and 2D to 3D, and imitate the postures of human and the closing of the leaves of mimosa.

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Aug 2017, accepted on 15 Sep 2017 and first published on 16 Sep 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TB02119D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Complex shape deformations of homogeneous poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)/graphene oxide hydrogels programmed by local NIR irradiation

    X. Peng, T. Liu, C. Jiao, Y. Wu, N. Chen and H. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TB02119D

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