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Lectures on Soft Active Materials, 2nd edition

Zhigang Suo's picture

In May 2008, I posted 3 lectures on Soft Active Materials given at UCSB.  I have since given similar lectures on other occasions, but never all three at the same place.  The field has been active.  The lectures have been updated with new items.  I’m now posting the “2nd edition” of these lectures.

  • Dielectric elastomers
  • Neutral gels
  • Polyelectrolyte gels
  • pH-sensitive gels 

The slides are posted as delivered.  No effort is made to eliminate repeating slides. 

The slides by themselves may not be very helpful in learning a subject.  I have also worked these lectures into a course on advanced elasticity.  The written lectures may be helpful. 

An abstract for these lectures follow.

Soft materials can mimic a salient feature of life: movements in response to stimuli. For example, an electric field can cause an elastomer to stretch several times its length. As another example, a change in pH can cause a gel to swell many times its volume. These soft active materials are being developed for diverse applications, including soft robots, adaptive optics, self-regulating fluidics, and programmable haptic surfaces. This talk describes recent work on the mechanics of soft active materials. We formulate theories to answer commonly asked questions. How do diverse stimuli cause large deformation? What is the maximal energy that can be converted by a soft material? How do molecular processes affect material response? How does abrupt change, or instability, occur? The theories are illustrated with phenomena arising in applications, drawing on recently reported experimental observations.

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