American Chemical Society
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Reversely Orthogonal Actuation of a Janus-Faced Film Based on Asymmetric Polymer Brush Modification

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-09-17, 21:29 authored by Yangyang Xiang, Bianhong Li, Yunlei Zhang, Shuanhong Ma, Bin Li, Hanjun Gao, Bo Yu, Jian Li, Feng Zhou
The actuation phenomena of materials upon external stimulus have attracted much attention for the development of excellent sensors and devices. Herein, we present a smart Janus-faced film that exhibits novel behavior of reverse orthogonal actuation under high humidity and a positive actuation under low humidity, which is achieved by asymmetric polymer brushes on polydimethysiloxane as a substrate through surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization. The classical theory of plates and shells and finite element simulations are also applied to understand the orthogonal actuation mechanism of the actuator. This Janus-faced film can reversely grab objects rapidly under high humidity, which provides significant potential to design a more intelligent actuator. In addition, this film is highly sensitive to humidity that even the approaching finger can make it to bend, which is just like the actuation behavior of Mimosa pudica. Based on the above phenomena, we also design the sensing devices to realize the detection of humidity. Interestingly, the film intelligently identifies different solvents (e.g., water and ethanol). This work may demonstrate significant potential in smart surface modifications, flexible robots, bionic sensors, and other fields.