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Department of Chemistry Seminar – Dr. Alexa Kuenstler

January 27 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Dr. Alexa Kuenstler

University of Colorado Boulder

“Using Light to Make and Control Advanced Soft Materials”

Compared to other stimuli, light provides a powerful means to control chemical  processes because it can be patterned in both time and space with high specificity. In this talk,  novel methods to both manipulate soft material behavior and to enable fabrication of polymeric  materials with light will be presented. In the first part of the talk, a novel method to control  reversible photoactuation of polymer sheets into shapes with specific curvature will be  presented. We demonstrate that by controlling the spatial absorbance of gold nanoparticles  within liquid crystal elastomer nanocomposites, arbitrary photothermal profiles can be  prescribed. Upon illumination with visible light, these materials buckle out of plane into complex  shapes. In combination with theory and finite-element models, we demonstrate the inverse  design of these materials for full shape control. In the second part of the talk, novel  photopolymerization platforms towards mechanically robust and responsive materials will be  discussed. We show that by incorporating dynamic covalent bonds within semi-crystalline  photopolymers, novel materials that can be reconfigured over their lifetime are realized. Finally, incorporation of these materials with digital light projection (DLP) 3D printing is shown to enable  the fabrication of high-performance constructs that are amenable to full recycling and repolymerization.



January 27
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm


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