Dynamic Hybrid Materials: Hydrogel Actuators and Catalytic Microsystems
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CitationZarzar, Lauren Dell. 2013. Dynamic Hybrid Materials: Hydrogel Actuators and Catalytic Microsystems. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
AbstractDynamic materials which can sense changes in their surroundings and subsequently respond or adapt by autonomously altering their functionality, surface chemistry, transparency, color, wetting behavior, adhesiveness, shape, etc. are primed to be integral components of future "smart" technologies. However, such systems can be quite complex and often require intricate coordination between both chemical and mechanical inputs/outputs as well as the combination of multiple materials working cooperatively to achieve the proper functionality. It is critical to not only understand the fundamental behaviors of existing dynamic chemo-mechanical systems, but also to apply that knowledge and explore new avenues for design of novel materials platforms which could provide a basis for future adaptive technologies. Part 1 explores the use of environmentally-sensitive hydrogels, either alone or within arrays of high-aspect-ratio nano/microstructures, as chemo-mechanical actuators. Chapters 1 through 7 describe a bio-inspired approach to the design of hybrid actuating surfaces in which the volume-changing hydrogel acts as the “muscle” that reversibly actuates the microstructured "bone". In particular, the different actuation mechanisms arising from variations in how the hydrogel is integrated into the structure array, how chemical signals can be used to manipulate actuation parameters, and finally how such a system may be used for applications ranging from adaptive optics to manipulation of chemical reactions are described. Chapter 8 discusses the use of responsive hydrogel scaffolds as a means to mechanically compress cells and direct differentiation. Part II explores dynamic microsystems involving the integration of catalytic sites within intricately structured 3D microenvironments. Specifically, we explore a generalizable and straightforward route to fabricate microscale patterns of nanocrystalline platinum and palladium using multiphoton lithography. The catalytic, electrical, and electrochemical properties are characterized, and we demonstrate high resolution integration of catalysts within 3D-defined microenvironments to generate directed particle and fluid transport.
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