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Title: Dumbbell-shaped block copolymers for the fabrication of anisotropic soft actuators
Authors: Pan, Houwen Matthew
Chan, Jonathan Kai Bin
Sarkar, Jit
Goto, Atsushi
Keywords: Science::Chemistry
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Pan, H. M., Chan, J. K. B., Sarkar, J. & Goto, A. (2022). Dumbbell-shaped block copolymers for the fabrication of anisotropic soft actuators. ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 4(7), 5144-5151.
Project: NRF-NRFI05-2019-0001
Journal: ACS Applied Polymer Materials
Abstract: The self-assembly of bottlebrush or comb copolymers into well-ordered structures can be accurately controlled to create functional materials for smart elastomeric actuators. However, to date, bottlebrush or comb copolymer self-assemblies have only been utilized in fabricating isotropic actuators. In this work, we report on the first synthesis of anisotropic soft actuators from comb triblock copolymers. Dumbbell-shaped comb block copolymers (BCPs) with poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) side chains were crosslinked via poly(butyl acrylate) (PBA) to form actuators that exhibited reversible actuation, fast response (5 min), a high anisotropic swelling strain (51% in the x-axis and 98% in the y-axis), and bending on the z-axis in an organic solvent. Characterization of anisotropic actuator strips pointed to a lamellar-like arrangement of PBA segments sandwiched between PDMS layers. Anisotropic swelling was programmed in single-layer actuators through shear-induced alignment (x-y axis) and phase separation (z-axis) of dumbbell-shaped BCPs without any additional patterning steps. Actuator bending was also significantly increased (330°) via the orthogonal arrangement of anisotropic bilayers.
ISSN: 2637-6105
DOI: 10.1021/acsapm.2c00658
Schools: School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences 
School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology 
Rights: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS Applied Polymer Materials, copyright © 2022 American Chemical Society, after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:CCEB Journal Articles
SPMS Journal Articles

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