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Multicolor 4D printing of shape-memory polymers for light-induced selective heating and remote actuation

Scientific Reports ( IF 4.011 ) Pub Date : 2020-04-10 , DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-63020-9 

Hoon Yeub Jeong; Byung Hoon Woo; Namhun Kim; Young Chul Jun

Four-dimensional (4D) printing can add active and responsive functions to three-dimensional (3D) printed objects in response to various external stimuli. Light, among others, has a unique advantage of remotely controlling structural changes to obtain predesigned shapes. In this study, we demonstrate multicolor 4D printing of shape-memory polymers (SMPs). Using color-dependent selective light absorption and heating in multicolor SMP composites, we realize remote actuation with light illumination. We experimentally investigate the temperature changes in colored SMPs and observe a clear difference between the different colors. We also present simulations and analytical calculations to theoretically model the structural variations in multicolor composites. Finally, we consider a multicolor hinged structure and demonstrate the multistep actuation by changing the color of light and duration of illumination. 4D printing can allow complex, multicolor geometries with predesigned responses. Moreover, SMPs can be reused multiple times for thermal actuation by simply conducting thermomechanical programming again. Therefore, 4D printing of multicolor SMP composites have unique merits for light-induced structural changes. Our study indicates that multicolor 4D printing of SMPs are promising for various structural changes and remote actuation.

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