Thursday, October 20, 2011: 5:25 PM
L100 F (Minneapolis Convention Center)
Shape memory polymers (SMP’s) are a class of stimuli responsive materials which have the capability to remember a permanent shape; can be deformed to impart a desired temporary shape; and recover their permanent shape when acted upon by a stimulus, e.g. heat, light or magnetic field. SMPs have received a lot of attention recently because of their potential use in minimally invasive surgery and as biomedical implants. We have created a new family of hybrid, inorganic-organic SMPs employing inorganic nanoparticles as netpoints where each netpoint is a junction for hundreds of polymer chains. We find that this network design leads to dramatic increase in the elastic modulus and yet sharp transition temperature and excellent shape memory properties of SMPs. Moreover this platform is capable of synthesizing SMPs with highly tunable mechanical properties and transition temperature.