Light intensity controlled wrinkling patterns in photo-thermal sensitive hydrogels

  • Toh, William ;
  • Ding, Zhiwei ;
  • Ng, Teng Yong ;
  • Liu, Zishun
  • Received : 2015.11.04
  • Accepted : 2015.11.09
  • Published : 2016.01.25


Undergoing large volumetric changes upon incremental environmental stimulation, hydrogels are interesting materials which hold immense potentials for utilization in a wide array of applications in diverse industries. Owing to the large magnitudes of deformation it undergoes, swelling induced instability is a commonly observed sight in all types of gels. In this work, we investigate the instability of photo-thermal sensitive hydrogels, produced by impregnating light absorbing nano-particles into the polymer network of a temperature sensitive hydrogel, such as PNIPAM. Earlier works have shown that by using lights of different intensities, these hydrogels follow different swelling trends. We investigate the possibility of utilizing this fact for remote switching applications. The analysis is built on a thermodynamic framework of inhomogeneous large deformation of hydrogels and implemented via commercial finite element software, ABAQUS. Various examples of swelling induced instabilities, and its corresponding dependence on light intensity, will be investigated. We show that the instabilities that arise have their morphologies dependent on the light intensity.


dual-sensitive;photo-thermal sensitive hydrogel;bifurcation;buckling;instability


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Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China