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Issue 28, 2006
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Photopatterned liquid crystalline polymers for microactuators

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We have investigated the properties of thermally-responsive, patterned liquid crystalline polymers as their dimensions are scaled to a size suitable for use in microelectromechanical systems. All samples were fabricated using surface alignment and photopatterning techniques that can be used to produce integrated devices anchored on a substrate. The thermomechanical properties of free-standing macroscopic samples with varying concentration of crosslinking molecules were investigated in order to optimize the thermal response of the material. It was found that samples containing 12% crosslinker were able to expand by up 19% when heated. The thermomechanical properties of surface-anchored films were also investigated, and it was found that by employing a polymerized cholesteric structure of the liquid crystalline units a thermal expansion of up to 11% could be achieved when the sample was heated to 200 °C. Patternability was demonstrated using a simple photopatterning process that was used to fabricate samples consisting of lines of cholesteric material on a bare substrate, or alternating regions of liquid crystalline polymer in the isotropic and cholesteric phases. Actuation of these films was also demonstrated.

Graphical abstract: Photopatterned liquid crystalline polymers for microactuators

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Apr 2006, accepted on 05 Jun 2006 and first published on 14 Jun 2006

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B605511G
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2006,16, 2903-2912

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    Photopatterned liquid crystalline polymers for microactuators

    A. L. Elias, K. D. Harris, C. W. M. Bastiaansen, D. J. Broer and M. J. Brett, J. Mater. Chem., 2006, 16, 2903
    DOI: 10.1039/B605511G

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