Dandelion-Inspired, Wind-Dispersed Polymer-Assembly Controlled by Light

Thumbnail Image
Access rights
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Degree programme
Advanced Science, Volume 10, issue 7
The rise of stimuli-responsive polymers has brought about a wealth of materials for small-scale, wirelessly controlled soft-bodied robots. Thinking beyond conventional robotic mobilities already demonstrated in synthetic systems, such as walking, swimming and jumping, flying in air by dispersal, gliding, or even hovering is a frontier yet to be explored by responsive materials. The demanding requirements for actuator's performance, lightweight, and effective aerodynamic design underlie the grand challenges. Here, a soft matter-based porous structure capable of wind-assisted dispersal and lift-off/landing action under the control of a light beam is reported. The design is inspired by the seed of dandelion, resembling several biomimetic features, i.e., high porosity, lightweight, and separated vortex ring generation under a steady wind flow. Superior to its natural counterparts, this artificial seed is equipped with a soft actuator made of light-responsive liquid crystalline elastomer, which induces reversible opening/closing actions of the bristles upon visible light excitation. This shape-morphing enables manual tuning of terminal velocity, drag coefficient, and wind threshold for dispersal. Optically controlled wind-assisted lift-off and landing actions, and a light-induced local accumulation in descending structures are demonstrated. The results offer novel approaches for wirelessly controlled, miniatured devices that can passively navigate over a large aerial space.
Funding Information: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (Academy Postdoctoral Researcher No. 331015, Research Fellow, No. 340263 and Finnish Flagship programme on Photonics Research and Innovation, PREIN No. 320165). J. Y. acknowledges the support from China Scholarship Council (CSC). The authors thank Dr. Piotr Wasylczyk from University of Warsaw for donation of textile fabric samples. The authors also thank Zixuan Deng and Dr. Hongshuang Guo from Tampere University for the help in experiment and insightful discussion. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.
dispersal, light-driven, liquid crystal elastomer, passive flier, separated vortex ring, soft actuator
Other note
Yang, J, Zhang, H, Berdin, A, Hu, W & Zeng, H 2023, ' Dandelion-Inspired, Wind-Dispersed Polymer-Assembly Controlled by Light ', Advanced Science, vol. 10, no. 7, 2206752 . https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202206752