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Intelligent Soft Materials and 3D Printing

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Intelligent materials, also known as active materials, show responses to external stimuli including light, heat, electric field, and magnetic field. With specifically designed polymeric matrix and fillers, intelligent composites facilitate complex deformations and multifunctions.

Liquid Crystal Elastomer - Liquid Metal Composite: Ultrafast, Untethered, and Programmable Actuation by Induction Heating, Advanced Materials (2023)

The liquid crystal elastomer - liquid metal (LCE-LM) composite consists of LM embedded between LCE layers enabling ultrafast, reversible and programmable actuations by eddy current induction heating

Magnetic Dynamic Polymers for Modular Assembling and Reconfigurable Morphing Architectures, Advanced Materials (2021)

The magnetic dynamic polymer composite composes of hard-magnetic microparticles in thermally reversible dynamic polymer networks, integrating functionalities of targeted welding, magnetization reprogramming, and structural reconfiguration

Magnetic Shape Memory Polymers with Integrated Multifunctional Shape Manipulations, Advanced Materials (2020)

The magnetic shape memory polymer is a composite consisting of two types of magnetic particles in an amorphous shape memory polymer matrix. It integrates multifunctionalities of untethered rapid reversible shape change, sequential actuation, reprogrammability, and shape locking


Advances in 3D printing technology allow for the fabrication of stimuli-responsive materials with programmable properties and material distributions. Controlled by external stimuli, the printed structure can actively morph shape after 3D printing.

4D Printing of Freestanding Liquid Crystal Elastomers via Hybrid Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Materials (2022)

A hybrid 4D printing method is reported to fabricate freestanding liquid crystal elastomers “on-the-fly” by using laser-assisted direct ink writing integrated with digital light processing

Evolutionary Algorithm‐Guided Voxel‐Encoding Printing of Functional Hard‐Magnetic Soft Active Materials, Advanced Intelligent Systems (2020)

Evolutionary algorithm-guided voxel-encoding direct ink writing printing is a method to program both the magnetic direction and density distributions of the hard-magnetic soft active materials, realizing shape morphing with predetermined curvature distribution

Magnetic multimaterial printing for multimodal shape transformation with tunable properties and shiftable mechanical behaviors, Applied Materials & Interfaces (2020)

Multimaterial printing technology can be utilized for the complex structural integration of magnetic soft materials and magnetic shape memory polymers to explore their enhanced multimodal shape transformation and tunable properties


The mechanics-guided design strategy provides guidance to material and structural design and advanced manufacturing of functional soft composites, through the development of material constitutive model and finite element analysis.

A micromechanics approach through the representative volume element
Micromechanics Study on Actuation Efficiency of Hard-Magnetic Soft Active Materials, Journal of Applied Mechanics (2020)

A micromechanics approach through the representative volume element simulations is utilized to investigate interactions between the magnetic particles and the soft matrix

Mechanics guided material design
Mechanics of hard-magnetic soft materials, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids (2019)

A suitable theoretical framework to analyze hard-magnetic soft materials is developed to facilitate the rational design of magnetically activated functional structures and devices

Kirigami enhances film adhesion, Soft Matter (2018)

A new paradigm that enhances adhesion of films on substrates via designing rational kirigami cuts in the films without changing the thickness, rigidity or adhesiveness of the films