MEMS Seminar Series: Thermomechanics of Main-Chain Liquid-Crystalline Elastomers Using a Two-Stage Thiol-Acrylate Reaction

Apr 13

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm


Christopher M. Yakacki, Ph.D., University of Colorado

Liquid-crystalline elastomers (LCEs) are a class of stimuli-reponsive and active materials known for their unique mechanical and optical properties. These materials can demonstrate a large magnitude of thermally-reversible shape change and actuation due to the coupling of liquid-crystalline order and network elasticity. As a result, LCEs have been proposed for a myriad of sensor and actuator applications, such as artificial muscles and tunable iris lenses. While promising materials, the practical application, scalability and accessibility of main-chain LCEs remain a limiting barrier in the widespread use of LCEs. This presentation will introduce a novel two-stage thiol-acrylate Michael addition of photopolymerization reaction for scalable synthesis of main-chain LCEs and a programmable single-liquid crystal monodomain.