Smart Materials Group

Targeting the functional materials and their applications

Smart soft materials for biological intelligence
Smart soft material is a kind of new functional material that can perceive and deal with internal and external information to make active or passive response. It is a kind of artificial material which is very close to biological intelligence.
Smart soft materials for flexible wearable device
In recent years, the field of wearable implanted sensors has been made significant progress, such as sending tactile message to the brain through the electronic skin, using 3D micro electrodes of cerebral cortex to control prosthetic limbs, restoring patient listening by using artificial cochlear, etc.
Smart soft materials for wave energy harvest
Highly flexible and ultra-thin elastomeric membranes are sused as capacitors. These membranes are installed in streams, where the constant deformation and relaxation of the elastomeric body converts mechanical kinetic energy from the flow of water directly into electricity.
  • Mechanical supermaterials and vibration reduction technology

    Mechanical Metamaterials are man-made structures with counterintuitive mechanical properties that originate in the geometry of their unit cell instead of the properties of each component. They can be considered a counterpart to the well-known family of optical or acoustics metamaterial. Mechanical Metamaterials include auxetic (negative Poisson’s ratio) metamaterials, metamaterials with vanishing shear modulus, such as pentamode structures, metamaterials with negative compressibility, singularly nonlinear materials, and topological metamaterial.

  • Smart soft material and bionic drive technology

    Smart soft material is a kind of new functional material that can perceive and deal with internal and external information (such as force, heat, light, electromagnetic, chemical, radiation, etc.) to make active or passive response. It mainly includes dielectric high elastic polymer, shape memory polymer, gel, liquid crystal, foam, particle material and so on. Different from the traditional hard material, the intelligent soft material has the characteristics of large controllable deformation, high degree of freedom and so on. It is a kind of artificial material which is very close to biological intelligence. In addition to the bearing capacity of ordinary structure, the flexible bionic driving structure based on intelligent soft materials has the functions of self diagnosis, self-adaptive, self adjusting and self repairing, which has the function of self diagnosis, self-adaptive, self adjusting, and is superior to the traditional "rigid" structure material. It is hopeful to solve many breakthroughs of traditional "rigid" structural materials.

  • Smart flexible wearable technology

    Wearable flexible electronic sensing systems, which usually contains stimulus responsive material and stretchable polymers, are one of the key technologies in the next generation of smart personal electronics. With this technique, physical, chemical, biological, and environmental status of the human body could be monitored with high efficiency and minimum discomfort. So far, various types of wearable electronic sensors, including flexible tactile sensors, wearable image sensor array, biological and chemical sensor, temperature sensors, and multifunctional integrated sensing systems have been developed.

  • Surface chemistry and anti-icing technology

    Materials with anti-icing property by using surface modification have aroused much attention in recent years. Ice accumulation on airfoils, turbines, and power towers and vessels may cause equipment failure, severe economic damage even lives loss. Materials with special wettability have shown great potential in anti-icing test since the superhydrophobic surfaces usually have a long delay of freezing. By combining low surface energy materials with hierarchical structures is an effective way to achieve anti-icing surfaces. Inspired by the strong adhesive protein in mussels, dopamine is well-known for surfaces modification which can form strong adhesive coatings on inorganic and orangic substrates through self-polymerization in the presence of Tris and PEPA. Multiple substrates were simply immersed in the solution of dopamine and Tris (or PEPA) to obtain a uniform polydopamine coated surfaces with many high active reaction sites. The coating has broaden the way of modification since various molecules can be introduced on the polydopamine coated substrates through Michael addition reaction. The low surface energy substances along with the micro-nano structures bring about the superhydrophoicity of the as-prepared surfaces with a water contact angle above 150°.