A functionally graded shape memory polymer

Andrew M. Diorio, Xiaofan Luo, Kyung Min Lee, Patrick T. Mather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


In this article we describe the preparation and characterization of a functionally graded shape memory polymer (SMP) that, unlike conventional SMPs, has a range of transition temperatures that are spatially distributed in a gradient fashion within one single article. This is achieved by post-curing a pre-cured glassy SMP in a linear temperature gradient that imposes different vitrification temperature limits at different positions along the gradient. Utilizing indentation-based surface shape memory coupled with optical measurements of photoelastic response, the capability of this material to respond over a wide range of thermal triggers is examined and correlated with the graded glass transition behavior. The shape recovery response of the gradient SMP under a condition of continuous heating is demonstrated. This new class of SMP offers great potential for such applications as passive temperature sensing and precise control of shape evolution during a thermally triggered shape recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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