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  • Larisa Florea

Two-photon polymerization of poly(ionic liquid)s

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

Soft, stimulus-responsive 3D structures created from crosslinked poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) have been fabricated at unprecedented sub-micron resolution by direct laser writing (DLW). These structures absorb considerable quantities of solvent (e.g., water, alcohol, and acetone) to produce PIL hydrogels that exhibit stimulus-responsive behavior. Due to their flexibility and soft, responsive nature, these structures are much more akin to biological systems than the conventional, highly crosslinked, rigid structures typically produced using 2-photon polymerization (2-PP). These PIL gels expand/contract due to solvent uptake/release, and, by exploiting inherited properties of the ionic liquid monomer (ILM), thermo-responsive gels that exhibit reversible area change (30 ± 3%, n = 40) when the temperature is raised from 20 °C to 70 °C can be created. The effect is very rapid, with the response indistinguishable from the microcontroller heating rate of 7.4 °C /s. The presence of an endoskeleton-like framework within these structures influences movement arising from expansion/contraction and assists the retention of structural integrity during actuation cycling.

Microscopy image of a 2PP-fabricated butterfly structure.


Structure development and hydration properties.

Read full article at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369702117308222

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FloreaLab @Trinity College Dublin

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