Shape-Memory Polymers


Shape-memory polymers are an emerging class of active polymers which can change their shape in a predefined way when exposed to an appropriate stimulus. Shape-memory research was initialized by the development of thermo-sensitive materials. These materials had a dual shape capability as they could move from a first to a second shape. This concept was extended to other stimuli by either indirect thermal actuation or direct actuation by addressing stimuli-sensitive functional groups on the molecular level. Recently, triple shape materials were introduced, which can perform two shape changes after subsequent temperature increases. In this paper fundamental aspects of the molecular design of suitable polymer architectures, tailored creation of the different shapes and the quantification of the dual as well as the triple shape effect are presented.
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