Volume 93 Issue 9 | p. 29 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 2, 2015

Pop-Up Liquid Crystals

Thermal or chemical stimuli prompt liquid-crystal elastomers to transform from flat sheets to three-dimensional objects
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: liquid crystal, elastomer

A soft material made of liquid crystals attached to an elastic polymer goes from a flat sheet to a three-dimensional object in response to heat or a chemical stimulus (Science 2015, DOI: 10.1126/science.1261019). The material, known as a liquid-crystal elastomer (LCE), could find use in aerospace, medicine, or consumer goods, for example, as packaging material or as a tunable antenna. Liquid crystals are materials that have a fluctuating orientation, like . . .

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