Thermo- and chemical-triggered overhand and reef knots based on liquid crystal gels

Zongdai Liu, Hao Zeng, Kun-Lin Yang, Dan Luo

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A knot is a worldwide used complication and one of the most ancient technologies in human history. A knot can be found in a wide range of applications such as providing practical structural robustness and mechanical connections between objectives. Here, we report a responsive knot that can self-adjust its geometry upon external stimuli. The knot is tightened in a thread made of a liquid crystal gel, the diameter and internal friction of which vary upon thermal/chemical stimulus. An overhand knot and a reef knot are demonstrated to exhibit auto-untie action responsive to external stimuli. A self-dropping device is shown to sense its surrounding temperature and chemical change in the environment, providing the proof-of-concept for sensing application. The results offer new alternatives for soft micro-robots and automation control for non-electric devices. This journal is

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14154-14160
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry C
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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