Protruding organic surfaces triggered by in-plane electric fields

Danqing Liu, Nicholas B. Tito, Dirk J. Broer.

Protruding organic surfaces triggered by in-plane electric fields

ABSTRACT
Coatings with a dynamic surface topography are of interest for applications in haptics, soft robotics, cell growth in biology, hydro- and air dynamics and tribology. Here we propose a design for creating oscillating surface topographies in thin liquid crystal polymer network coatings under an electric field. By applying an alternating electric field, the coating surface deforms, and pre-designed local corrugations appear. The continuous AC electric field further initiates oscillations superimposed on the formed topographies. This effect is based on microscopic free volume creation. By exciting the liquid crystal network at its resonance frequency, maximum free volume is generated and large surface topographies are formed. Molecular simulation is used to examine this behaviour in microscopic detail as a function of oscillation frequency. Surface topography formation is fast and reversible. Excess free volume is energetically unfavourable, thus the surface topographies disappear within seconds once the electric field is removed.


Language English
Journal Nature Communications
Year
2017
Pages 1-6
Volume 8
Issue number
1
Status

Published


KEYWORDS

dynamic surface, liquid crystal, polymer network, coatings


DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01448-w


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  • smart coating

    smart coating


  • switchable topology

    switchable topology


  • liquid crystal polymer

    liquid crystal polymer


Cite this

  • APA
Danqing Liu, Nicholas B. Tito, Dirk J. Broer. Protruding organic surfaces triggered by in-plane electric fields. Nature Communications, 2017, 8(1), 1-6.

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