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Macromol Rapid Commun. 2013 Feb 25;34(4):330-4. doi: 10.1002/marc.201200667. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Nematic liquid crystalline elastomer grating and microwire fabricated by micro-molding in capillaries.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Laboratory for Advanced Materials, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P. R. China.


A new approach is developed to fabricate highly oriented mono-domain LCE nano/microstructures through micro-molding in capillaries. Gratings and microwires as two typical examples are fabricated and characterized by polarizing optical microscopy, optical microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The gratings with precisely controlled sizes and smooth surface are obtained by filling the channels with a nematic monomer mixture followed by the photo-crosslinking. After peeling off the gratings from the substrate, the free-standing microwires are obtained. A uniform orientation of the mesogenic units is observed for the molds with channel width less than 20 μm. Reversible thermomechanical effect is demonstrated by using the microwires obtained through this approach.

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