Inspired by origami, North Carolina State University researchers have found a way to remotely control the order in which a two-dimensional (2-D) sheet folds itself into a three-dimensional (3-D) structure.
“A longstanding challenge in the field has been finding a way to control the sequence in which a 2-D sheet will fold itself into a 3-D object,” says Michael Dickey, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State and co-corresponding author of a paper describing the work. “And as anyone who has done origami – or folded their laundry – can tell you, the order in which you make the folds can be extremely important.”
“The sequence of folding is important in life as well as in technology,” says co-corresponding author Jan Genzer, the S. Frank and Doris Culberson Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State. “On small length scales, sequential folding via molecular machinery enables DNA to pack efficiently into chromosomes and assists proteins to adopt a functional conformation. On large length scales, sequential folding via motors helps solar panels in satellites and space shuttles unfold in space. The advance of the current work is to induce materials to fold sequentially using only light.”
Specifically, the researchers have developed a technique to design and fabricate 2-D materials that can be controlled remotely in order to trigger any of the given folds to take place, in any order.
Dickey and Genzer were early leaders in the field of self-folding 3-D structures. In their landmark 2011 paper, the researchers outlined a technique in which a pre-stressed plastic sheet was run through a conventional inkjet printer to print bold black lines on the material. The material was then cut into a desired pattern and placed under an infrared light, such as a heat lamp.
The printed lines absorbed more energy than the rest of the material, causing the plastic to contract – creating a hinge that folded the sheets into 3-D shapes. By varying the width of the printed lines, or hinges, the researchers were able to change how far – and how quickly – each hinge folds. The technique is compatible with commercial printing techniques, such as screen printing, roll-to-roll printing, and inkjet printing, that are inexpensive and high-throughput but inherently 2-D.
The new advance uses essentially the same technique, but takes advantage of the fact that different colors of ink absorb different wavelengths, or colors, of light.
“By printing the hinges in different colors, we can control the order of the folds by altering the wavelengths of light that shines on the 2-D sheet,” Genzer says.
For example, if one hinge is printed in yellow and another hinge is printed in blue, the researchers can make the yellow hinge fold by exposing it to blue light. The blue hinge won’t fold, because blue ink doesn’t absorb blue light. The researchers can then make the blue hinge fold by exposing the sheet to red light.
In addition, by manipulating the colors of ink, the researchers were also able to get hinges to fold sequentially when exposed to a single wavelength of light. This is possible because some colors will absorb a given wavelength of light more efficiently than others.
“This is a proof-of-concept paper, but it opens the door to a range of potential applications using a simple and inexpensive process,” Dickey says.
“Ultimately, people are interested in self-assembling structures for multiple reasons, from shipping things in a flat package and having them assemble on site to having devices self-assemble in ‘clean’ environments for medical or electronic applications.”
Receive an email update when we add a new PHASE-CHANGE MATERIALS article.
The Latest on: Phase-change materials
via Google News
The Latest on: Phase-change materials
- Uncovering β-relaxations in amorphous phase-change materialson January 10, 2020 at 11:51 am
These authors contributed equally to this work. See allHide authors and affiliations Relaxation processes are decisive for many physical properties of amorphous materials. For amorphous phase-change ...
- Multi-modal nanoprobes reveal hidden magnetismon January 10, 2020 at 8:13 am
The phase change is also ultra-fast.” Team member Alex McLeod adds that while it is relatively common to study these materials with scanning probes, this is the first time that optical nano-imaging ...
- Normal-to-topological insulator martensitic phase transition in group-IV monochalcogenides driven by lighton January 9, 2020 at 3:27 pm
A material potentially exhibiting multiple crystalline phases with distinct optoelectronic properties can serve as a phase-change memory material. The sensitivity and kinetics can be enhanced when the ...
- Global Thermal Interface Materials For Electronics Cooling Market 2019: Key Players DowDuPont, Shin-Etsu, Btech, Laird Performance Materialson January 8, 2020 at 1:57 am
Get an extensive research offering detailed information and growth outlook of the Thermal Interface Materials For Electronics Cooling market in the new research report added by Big Market Research.
- Sustainability Solutions Lead With Bio-Based Products, Daisy Seedson January 6, 2020 at 4:01 pm
The announcement follows its launch of a bio-based flame retardant that debuted in May 2019. Devan’s new solutions include a bio-based antimicrobial called Bi-Ome Natural, and Tones of Cool Bio, a bio ...
- Hybrid device achieves 24/7 energy harvesting and storageon January 6, 2020 at 9:06 am
The researchers synthesized the device using norbornadiene-quadricyclane (NBD–QC), an organic compound with high specific energy and extended storage times, as the molecular storage material (MSM), ...
- Neopentyl Glycol (NPG) Market to Witness CAGR of 4.7% Rise in Value Share During the Period 2018 – 2028on January 3, 2020 at 5:57 am
Neopentyl glycol is being increasingly explored as a phase change material for potential application in LTHS (latent heat storage) devices, which is cited as a significant opportunity for ...
- Advanced Phase Change Materials Market Future Strategies by 2020-2029 | BASF, Honeywell, Cryopakon January 1, 2020 at 2:57 am
Market.us research strategic development and progressive approach analysts forecasts provide the latest report on “Trending News: Advanced Phase Change Materials Market Future Scope Competitive ...
- Advanced Phase Change Materials Market Size, Share | Industry Report, 2024on December 31, 2019 at 3:16 am
According to new report by IMARC Group, titled “Advanced Phase Change Materials Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2019-2024”, the global advanced phase ...
via Bing News