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Issue 1, 2011
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A functionally graded shape memory polymer

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In this article we describe the preparation and characterization of a functionally graded shape memory polymer (SMP) that, unlike conventional SMPs, has a range of transition temperatures that are spatially distributed in a gradient fashion within one single article. This is achieved by post-curing a pre-cured glassy SMP in a linear temperature gradient that imposes different vitrification temperature limits at different positions along the gradient. Utilizing indentation-based surface shape memory coupled with optical measurements of photoelastic response, the capability of this material to respond over a wide range of thermal triggers is examined and correlated with the graded glass transition behavior. The shape recovery response of the gradient SMP under a condition of continuous heating is demonstrated. This new class of SMP offers great potential for such applications as passive temperature sensing and precise control of shape evolution during a thermally triggered shape recovery.

Graphical abstract: A functionally graded shape memory polymer

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The article was received on 08 Jun 2010, accepted on 27 Jul 2010 and first published on 23 Aug 2010

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00487A
Soft Matter, 2011,7, 68-74

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    A functionally graded shape memory polymer

    A. M. DiOrio, X. Luo, K. M. Lee and P. T. Mather, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 68
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00487A

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