Feedbacks in light-active soft materials

Jianfeng Yang, Haotian Pi, Hang Zhang, Hao Zeng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific

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Imitating the self-regulated motions of natural species allows for novel applications in inanimate material systems. These applications include autonomous robotic systems, adaptive devices, and auto-energy harvesting. However, significant challenges exist in accurately controlling stimulus-induced deformations and establishing a reliable relationship between external energy fields and material deformations. In this study, we demonstrate that a simple light-triggered bending actuation in smart material systems based on liquid crystal elastomers is influenced by an opto-mechano-optical feedback mechanism. The pre-curved geometry enables enhance of light absorption upon photothermally induced deformation (from bent to flat), followed by a reduce of energy absorption upon further deformation (from flattening to bending toward the light). This strong nonlinearity in stimulus-induced deformability is governed by positive and negative feedback, and we experimentally verified these mechanisms using a thermal camera. Our results reveal the ubiquitous feedback nature of most light-active polymer systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmart Materials for Opto-Electronic Applications
EditorsIvo Rendina, Lucia Petti, Domenico Sagnelli, Giuseppe Nenna
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5106-6288-9
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2023
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed conference publication
EventSmart Materials for Opto-Electronic Applications - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 25 Apr 202327 Apr 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceSmart Materials for Opto-Electronic Applications
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


  • feedback
  • liquid crystal elastomer
  • photoactuation
  • self-regulated


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