Engineering heterogeneous domains and interfaces in shape memory fibers for tunable responsive behaviors

Zhongkun Zhao, Haoqing Yang, Manqi Li, Chandan Gudi, Kamal Varma Kanumuru, Robert Voigt, Olalekan Babaniyi, Tengxiao Liu, Yong Chen, Hongtao Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Intelligent materials have rapidly evolved to enable sensing and responding to various external stimuli, opening exciting opportunities across various fields such as soft robotics, actuators, biomedical devices, and sensors. Among these materials, Shape Memory Polymers (SMPs) have gained prominence for their unique shape memory effects and deformable properties. However, achieving effective control over these responsive behaviors remains a scientific challenge. To address this challenge, we present a novel strategy that involves creating heterogeneous domains and finely controlling interfaces within a single SMP material. Our approach leverages grayscale lithography-enabled printing, which facilitates the regulation of transition interfaces and orientations between relatively stiff and elastic domains within a fiber-shaped actuator. These deliberately designed heterogeneities give rise to tunable thermal stimuli-responsive behaviors and torsional mechanical energy. Our strategy, characterized by the manipulation of heterogeneous domains and their transition interfaces, opens a pioneering avenue for designing and fabricating intelligent materials and associated actuation devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number147936
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - Jan 15 2024
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • 3D printing
  • Digital image correlation
  • Heterogeneities
  • Interfaces
  • Shape memory polymer
  • Torsional actuator


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