DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202313625 ISSN: 1616-301X

A Porous Multi‐Stimuli‐Responsive Liquid Crystal Elastomer Actuator Enabled by Mof Loading

Jie Jiang, Yaru Ma, Ruidong Cheng, Yue Zhao
  • Electrochemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


A porous actuator is prepared using a liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) loaded with metal‐organic framework (MOF) nanoparticles (MIL‐88A). While the swellable MOF additive endows the LCE actuator with nanoscale pores, after its removal by chemical etching, macroporous LCE actuator is obtained. This LCE‐MOF actuator displays several interesting features. 1) Selective etching allows the actuator in water to curl in one direction and then reverse the curling direction owing to differential water absorption of the nano‐ and macroporous layers. 2) The stretching‐induced alignment of mesogens in the actuator is little affected by the presence of MOF and substantially retained after water uptake, so that an actuation deformation can be generated either by water absorption or thermally induced order‐disorder phase transition. 3) Assisted by the UV irradiation used for polymer cross‐linking, magnetic iron oxide FeO appears to be formed after chemical etching, which allows the actuator to gain the ability to move on water surface guided by a magnet. 4) The in situ formation of magnetic iron oxide in the macroporous actuator also provides an enhanced photothermal effect, making light‐driven locomotion of the actuator more effective. The use of active porogen like MOF opens a new way to explore porous LCE actuators.

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