Shape-Memory Polymers and Shape-Changing Polymers


The ability of polymers to respond to external stimuli is of high scientific and technological significance. In the last few years, research activities have been intensified substantially, exploring whether stimuli-sensitive polymers can be designed that move actively. In this review actively-moving materials were classified according to the underlying mechanisms enabling the shape changes: shape-memory polymers and shape-changing polymers / shape-changing gels were identified. The application spectra of these materials as well as the current developments were elucidated and general molecular design principles presented. When applicable, a further distinction according to the applied stimulus was made.
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