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Keywords:

  • polymer;
  • hydrogel;
  • self-folding;
  • responsive;
  • actuator
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The multistep folding of stimuli-responsive polymer films with different shapes is demonstrated by Leonid Ionov and co-workers on page 2295. It is observed that deformed shapes differ from the classical ones, such as tubes or flowers, and one can introduce sharp hinges into the folded structure by the proper design of the bilayer's shape. Experimental observations lead to the derivation of empirical folding rules. It is then demonstrated how those rules can be used to direct the folding of edge-activated polymer bilayers.