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New development in multi-shape memory materials

Editor:group8  Date:2012-11-13 15:33:42   Hits:514

Shape memory polymer, as a stimulus-responsive smart material, can change several shapes macroscopically via external stimulus in a pre-defined programming way. More shapes they can memorize, more complicated actions can be fulfilled. As a result, the multi-shape memory polymer was believed to have significant and broad technology impacts.

Most recently, Prof. Yingwu Luo group proposed a novel strategy toward the synthesis of thermoplastic multi-shape memory polymers through precisely designing polymer chain sequences. The chain sequence of poly(styrene-co-methyl acrylate) copolymer was designed to form a shaped gradient sequence via controlled/living radical emulsion copolymerization. This specially designed chain sequence gives this common copolymer the capacity of multi-shape memory. The copolymer can sequentially recover to its permanent shape from three or more previously programmed temporary shapes with the stimulus of temperature as shown below.



The current approach could become an important platform to synthesize multifunctional shape memory polymers that can meet the diverse requirements associated with potential applications due to the robustness of radical copolymerization and the availability of a large variety of functional monomers. This work has been reported in Advanced Materials: A General Approach Towards Thermoplastic Multishape-Memory Polymers via Sequence Structure DesignDOI: 10.1002/adma.201202884.