Developing synthetic materials that are as dynamic as those found in nature, with reversibly changing properties and which could be used in manufacturing, recycling and other applications, is a strong focus for scientists.
In a world-first, researchers from QUT, Belgium’s Ghent University (UGent) and Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have pioneered a novel, dynamic, reprogrammable material – by using green LED light and, remarkably, darkness as the switches to change the material’s polymer structure, and using only two inexpensive chemical compounds. One of these compounds, naphthalene, is well known as an ingredient in moth repellents.
The new dynamic material could potentially be used as a 3D printing ink to print temporary, easy-to-remove support scaffolds. This would overcome one of the current limitations of the 3D process to print free-hanging structures.
The research is part of an ongoing international collaboration between QUT macromolecular chemist and Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik, Dr Hannes Houck, who recently completed his PhD across QUT, UGent and KIT, UGent Professor Filip Du Prez, and KIT’s Dr Eva Blasco.
Their findings have been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).
- The new material was formed with naphthalenes and the coupling molecules triazolinediones (TADs)
- As long as green LED light shone on the material it remained stable and strong
- Once the light was off and the material was kept in darkness, the chemical bonds of the network structure broke up and the material became soft and liquefied
- The hard-to-soft process could be repeated with the flick of the switch, and the light could be dimmed to modulate the mechanical properties of the material
- Follow on research is looking at other chemical combinations that can achieve the same result
Professor Barner-Kowollik, from QUT’s Science and Engineering Faculty, said what makes the discovery unique is that light is used as the trigger to stabilise, rather than destroy, chemical bonds – so the researchers have coined a new term, light-stabilised dynamic materials (LSDMs).
“We are hoping to introduce LSDMs as a whole new class of materials,” said Dr Houck. “We debated whether to patent the new material, but decided not to wait and to publish the findings to advance knowledge and understanding of the processes involved.”
The researchers said what they have achieved is the opposite of what is usually done in chemistry and “many people didn’t think it could be done”.
“Typically, you use different wavelengths of light or additional heat or harsh chemicals to break up the polymer molecule chains that form a network structure,” they said.
“However, in this case, we used green LED light to stabilise the network. The trigger to break up the network, make it collapse and flow away is actually the mildest one of all: darkness. Switch the light back on and the material re-hardens and retains its strength and stability.
“This is what you call an out-of-equilibrium chemical system. The constant energy of the green light keeps the chemical system in this bonded form, pushing it out of its equilibrium. Take away the light, and the system goes back to its relaxed, lowest energy state.”
Professor Barner-Kowollik said the researchers had already been contacted by 3D printing technology companies interested in application of the research.
3D printing is used in the aerospace and automotive industries to make intricate parts and detailed prototypes. However, 3D printing complex designs with overhangs or bridges is difficult or off limits because the 3D process involves printing layer upon layer, and there is no direct support for layers in sharply angled structures.
“What you need to 3D print something like a bridge is a support scaffold, a second ink that provides that scaffold during printing of the design, but which you can later remove when it is no longer needed,” he said.
“With a light-stabilised dynamic ink used as a scaffold you could 3D print under light, then switch the light off to let the scaffold ink flow away.”
Professor Du Prez and Professor Barner-Kowollik said another potential application for LSDMs was as a cell biology study tool, with biologists using it as a cell surface support they could alter by light modulation without damaging the cells.
The Latest on: Dynamic materials
via Google News
The Latest on: Dynamic materials
- Master and Dynamic MW07 Plus True Wireless Earphones are 40% off todayon January 27, 2022 at 7:50 am
Master & Dynamic is slashing 40% off its MW07 Plus earbuds, bringing the cost of all 21 color options down to $149.40.
- Master & Dynamic MG20 review: pricey doesn’t mean goodon January 27, 2022 at 6:00 am
The MG20 come in two subdued colorways. Master & Dynamic has released a wireless gaming headset that could be easily mistaken for a set of deluxe headphones. It’s called the MG20, and compared to the ...
- North America Automated Material Handling Market Analysis, Latest Trends, Demand and Forecaston January 27, 2022 at 5:52 am
Comserve / -- North America Automated Material Handling Market analyzes the international markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, investment plan, business strategy, ...
- Kaizen Financial Strategies Buys PIMCO Dynamic Income Fund, Applied Materials Inc, VanEck ...on January 26, 2022 at 6:38 am
Investment company Kaizen Financial Strategies (Current Portfolio) buys PIMCO Dynamic Income Fund, Applied Materials Inc, VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF, Salesforce.com Inc, Vanguard Total Stock ...
- What roles will all kinds of rubber and plastic new materials play in Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games?on January 25, 2022 at 11:04 pm
Olympic Winter Games will open on the 4th February 2022. What kind of surprise will the Ice and Snow pageant bring to the world,again ? And What roles will all kinds of rubber and plastic new ...
- Upcycled adhesive is one of the toughest materials ever reportedon January 24, 2022 at 9:23 pm
By carefully tinkering with the chemical structure of a common household plastic, scientists have managed to upcycle it into a reusable adhesive with unique and hugely promising properties. A small ...
- Google Search is testing dynamic color themes for image results, but it's not exactly Material Youon January 24, 2022 at 8:36 am
The new Monet-based theme comes with quite the reshuffled interface for image search results, but the gist is that the collection of related images and all other UI elements below the previewed result ...
- Google Testing Dynamic Theming for Image Search Resultson January 24, 2022 at 3:45 am
One of Android 12’s highlighted features was the dynamic theming engine that pulled colors from the current wallpaper to change the system-wide color ...
- Google might bring Material You to Chrome OS soonon January 20, 2022 at 11:03 am
Google is always looking to improve Chrome OS — last week, we saw the calendar quick view get better integrated with Chrome OS 99, and this week, we learned that a new Self Share feature will be ...
- Android 13 to offer multiple Material You dynamic theming styleson January 14, 2022 at 10:02 am
Another Android 13 leak is in and this one is about the design aspect. With Android 12, Google introduced its Material You theming engine (Pixel exclusive) which applies a varied color palette across ...
via Bing News