Shape programmable materials capable of morphing from a flat sheet into controlled three dimensional (3D) shapes offer promise in diverse areas including soft robotics, tunable optics, and bio-engineering. We describe a simple method of 'grayscale gel lithography' that relies on a digital micromirror array device (DMD) to control the dose of ultraviolet (UV) light, and therefore the extent of swelling of a photocrosslinkable poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAm) copolymer film, with micrometer-scale spatial resolution. This approach allows for effectively smooth profiles of swelling to be prescribed, enabling the preparation of buckled 3D shapes with programmed Gaussian curvature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics