Harnessing structural instability and material instability in the hydrogel-actuated integrated responsive structures (HAIRS)

Yuhang Hu, Philseok Kim, Joanna Aizenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We describe the behavior of a temperature-responsive hydrogel actuated integrated responsive structure (HAIRS). The structure is constructed by embedding a rigid high-aspect-ratio post in a layer of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) hydrogel which is bonded to a rigid substrate. As the hydrogel contracts, the post abruptly tilts. The HAIRS has demonstrated its broad applications in generating reversible micro-pattern formation, active optics, tunable wettability, and artificial homeostasis. To quantitatively describe and predict the system behavior, we construct an analytical model combining the structural instability, i.e. buckling of the post, and the material instability, i.e. the volume phase transition of PNIPAM hydrogel. The two instabilities of the system result in a large hysteresis in response to heating and cooling processes. Experimental results validate the predicted phenomenon of the abrupt tilting as temperature and large hysteresis in a heating-and-cooling cycle in the PNIPAM actuated HAIRS. Based on this model, we further discuss the influence of the material properties on the actuation of the structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-90
Number of pages7
JournalExtreme Mechanics Letters
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Harnessing structural instability and material instability in the hydrogel-actuated integrated responsive structures (HAIRS)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this