Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Magnetic, electric and stress – field programming of shape response in polymer-dispersed liquid crystal elastomers – based actuators

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.02.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physics   

Code Science Field
1.03  Natural Sciences  Physical sciences 
Liquid crystal elastomers, aditive manufacturing, 3D printing, thermomechanical response, peristaltics
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on June 8, 2023; A3 for period 2017-2021
Data for ARRS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  343  9,950  8,477  24.71 
Scopus  345  10,553  9,102  26.38 
Researchers (5)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  29518  PhD Matej Bobnar  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2020 - 2023  105 
2.  07560  PhD Maja Remškar  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2020 - 2023  818 
3.  35478  PhD Andraž Rešetič  Natural sciences and mathematics  Principal Researcher  2020 - 2023  39 
4.  56583  PhD Yuliia Shyshkina  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2022 - 2023 
5.  07527  PhD Boštjan Zalar  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2020 - 2023  312 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  85,913 
The development of soft flexible materials with morphing and shape-programmable abilities is essential for technological progress of soft robotics, biomechanics, and flexible electronics. However, morph-on-demand materials remain a rather elusive class of smart materials. Shape-programmable matter capable of transforming between three-dimensional shapes in response to external stimuli such as light, heat, electric and magnetic fields is a class of active materials whose geometry can be controlled for performing tasks beyond the operational scope of conventional machines or robots. In this project, we are proposing the development of a method to produce a new generation of 3D-printable soft material with anisotropic response. The material will be based on the recently developed polymer dispersed liquid crystal elastomers (PDLCE). Such composite material consists of thermomechanically active liquid single crystal elastomer (LSCE) microparticles, dispersed and oriented in a crosslinked polymer matrix. The particle orientation can be spatially modulated using an external magnetic alignment field over the composite volume, resulting in custom-tailored, temperature responsive shape changes of the specimen. We have recently devised a method of producing a suspension of anisotropically shaped LSCE microparticles with their liquid crystal ordering and consequently, direction of thermomechanical actuation, aligned along the particle’s longer axis. Anisotropically shaped LSCE particles can thus be oriented using simple laminar flow, present during deposition while 3D printing the material. The use of the state-of-the-art robotic hand with a mounted polymer dispensing unit, will enable us to precisely control the imprinted thermomechanical anisotropy, by exploiting the robotic hand’s six degrees of freedom of movement in order to deposit PDLCE voxels at arbitrary angles. The developed 3D printable ink will be used to print a tube capable of peristaltic movement, triggered by consecutive heating and cooling of the specimen via incorporated heating wires or by UV/ microwave irradiation absorbing nanostructures additionally functionalizing the LSCE composite. The realization of a 3D printed peristaltic tube will demonstrate the applicative advantages of our printing method and of the PDLCE 3D printable ink, by producing a specimen with complex morphing abilities that cannot be achieved by any of the currently developed additive manufacturing technologies.
Views history