Dynamic crystals

Dr. Guangfeng Liu

Polymer Chemistry Laboratory, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Subject area: Chemistry
What is it: Transformation of energy into motion (work) is one of the basic processes of energy conversion in nature. The processes of actuation underlying the transduction of light, thermal, or chemical energy into work by mechanically responsive materials are of special interest to materials science. “dynamic crystals” refers to some crystals that respond with a mechanical effect, regardless of whether this effect has been induced by light, heat, mechanical force, or other stimulus. Dynamic crystals that are capable of stimuli-responsive mechanical effects are invaluable for the fabrication of mechanically tunable elements for actuation and energy harvesting, including flexible electronics, displays, artificial muscles, microfluidic valves and gates, dynamic components in the soft robotics, switchable reflector units for projective displays, and tunable components for contact printing. In this exhibition, I would like to show some recent scientific results about “dynamic crystals”, including jumping, wriggling, transforming, shape memory and self-healing behaviors. These interesting dynamic crystals are far beyond the general understanding about crystals.