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Deformable, Programmable, and Shape-Memorizing Micro-Optics

Authors

  • Hangxun Xu,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
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  • Cunjiang Yu,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
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  • Shuodao Wang,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
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  • Viktor Malyarchuk,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
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  • Tao Xie,

    Corresponding author
    1. Sensors and Materials Laboratory, HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu CA 90265, USA
    • Sensors and Materials Laboratory, HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu CA 90265, USA.
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  • John A. Rogers

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
    2. Department of Chemistry, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
    • Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
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Abstract

The use of shape memory polymers is demonstrated for deformable, programmable, and shape-memorizing micro-optical devices. A semi-crystalline shape memory elastomer, crosslinked poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate), is used to prepare various micro-optic components, ranging from microlens and microprism arrays to diffraction gratings and holograms. The precise replication of surface features at the micro- and nanoscale and the formation of crosslinked shape memory polymer networks can be achieved in a single step via compression molding. Further deformation via hot pressing or stretching of micro-optics formed in this manner allows manipulation of the microscopic surface features, and thus the corresponding optical properties. Due to the shape memory effect, the original surface structures and the optical properties can be recovered and the devices be reprogrammed, with excellent reversibility in the optical properties. Furthermore, arrays of transparent resistive microheaters can be integrated with deformed micro-optical devices to selectively trigger the recovery of surface features in a spatially programmable manner, thereby providing additional capabilities in user-definable optics.

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