My watch list
my.chemeurope.com  
Login  

Materials: ‘Flat pack’ polymers that assemble themselves

12-Jul-2013

Scientists in the United States have developed ‘flat pack’ polymer structures that can autonomously assemble into three-dimensional shapes on application of an electric current.

Research published in Soft Matter describes the use of heat-triggered shape memory polymers to build 3D structures without the need for sophisticated printers.

 The researcher shows that, by printing shape memory polymers (SMPs) onto laser-cut joints with conductive coatings, they can separate the assembly process entirely from the original printing of the 2D material. 

The scientists printed an SMP in a deformed, flat state and aligned with a resistive circuit over a scored substrate – in this case, paper. By running an electric current through the circuit, joule heating activates the phase transformation of the polymer back into its original state and folds the paper. As this combination is electrically triggered, it allows both simultaneous and sequential folding of complicated structures.

Facts, background information, dossiers
More about Harvard University
More about Royal Society of Chemistry
  • News

    New coating is self-defence for seeds

    Scientists in Switzerland have developed a protective coating for seeds that poisons pests with cyanide when they bite into it. The coating is a system of two layers and only becomes toxic when the layers are mixed, eliminating the problem of environmental contamination that is associated w ... more

    Using bacteria to make electrodes

    Scientists in France have produced hematite using a bacterial pathway for use as an electrode material in Li-ion technologies. Currently, most commercial electrode materials for Li-ion technologies are prepared using the ceramic method, which requires long heating periods at high temperatur ... more

    Marine plant replacement for platinum in solar cells

    An international research team has shown that that the power conversion efficiency of sea tangle extract is comparable to platinum in solar cell electrodes. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) are quickly becoming a widespread and affordable alternative to photovoltaic solar cells. The electr ... more

  • Videos

    Royal Society of Chemistry – About us

    With more than 51,000 members and an international publishing and knowledge business we are the UK’s professional body for chemical scientists, supporting and representing our members and bringing together chemical scientists from all over the world. more

    A career in toxicology

    Hear from RSC member Vicki Stone talk about her role as a Nanotoxicologist. more

    When Food met Pharma: Delivery Strategies for Nutraceuticals

    With growing prevalence of lifestyle-associated diseases, including obesity, Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, there is an urgent need and demand to try to prevent the onset of these diseases within our growing population. Nutraceuticals, along with appropriate diet and exercise, ... more

  • Events
    Conference
    11-09 – 13-09
    2017
    Cambridge, GB

    Ionic liquids: from fundamental properties to practical applications - Faraday Discussion

    Over the last three years, there has been an increase in the range of ionic liquids (ILs) utilised and significant advances in our understanding of the fundamental aspects of these materials. Therefore, the time is apt for Faraday Discussions to provide a foundation for future fundamental c ... more

    Conference
    30-08 – 01-09
    2017
    Glasgow, GB

    Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering - SERS: Faraday Discussions

    This meeting aims to set the agenda for the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) field for the next 10 years, by bringing the community together to welcome in new emerging priority areas and embracing the diversity of approaches and disciplines which are contributing to the growth and u ... more

  • Companies

    Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

    The RSC is a leading international publisher of highly regarded journals and books in the chemical sciences. The RSC is also the professional body for chemists with a global membership of over 46,000. more

Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE