Several researchers participated in the 2006 Fall Meeting of the Materials Research Society, USA, to explore new functionalities of responsive soft materials, and revealing versatility among materials. Tim Swager of USA presented exciting molecular-level approaches, where rigid polymer molecules contained hinges in the form of multiple ring aromatic moieties that change confirmation on electrical reduction or oxidation. Casper van Oosten revealed micrometer-scale cantilevers fabricated from liquid crystalline networks, which featured exceptional photo and chemical responsiveness. Shu Yang constructed micrometer-scale high-aspect-ratio polymeric pillars that were susceptible to controlled toppling. The sessions focused on artificial muscles, controlled release of drugs, dynamic surfaces, photonic and phonic materials, and assembly of soft material structures.
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