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Call for Papers

Symposium F.EL05—Putting Photons to Work—Progress in Photomechanical Materials and Applications

Photomechanical materials provide new ways to convert light directly into mechanical motion. The general strategy is to absorb a photon and convert its energy to heat or chemical reactions that cause physical changes in the material, like expansion. This physical change can then be harnessed to perform mechanical work as part of an actuator structure. The use of photons to power mechanical work has several advantages: they are immune from electromagnetic interference, they can be transmitted over large distances with negligible loss, they do not require physical contact with the object being powered, and solar energy is clean and abundant.

Research in this area spans a broad range of fields, from mechanical engineering to molecular chemistry, soft matter physics and polymer science. This symposium will bring together researchers from multiple areas in an attempt to identify unifying themes and highlight complementary approaches. The first part of the symposium will focus on photophysical phenomena that can give rise to photomechanical effects, including charge separation, photochemical phase transitions, and photothermal effects. The next set of sessions will look at different material classes that exhibit these effects, including inorganic semiconductors, polymers and composites based on graphene and carbon nanotubes, and liquid crystal elastomers that incorporate light-responsive molecular switches in their design. Photoactivated gels and photomechanical molecular crystals will also be featured.

The symposium will conclude with several sessions that focus on applications that require light control and energy transduction. These talks will mostly feature robotics and biological control and will serve to introduce the materials community to the applications envisioned by the engineering and robotics communities.

Topics will include:

  • Basic concepts in light conversion to motion–Photothermal, photochemical, electron-hole and spin dynamics
  • Materials–Inorganic semiconductors
  • Materials–Photothermal polymers
  • Materials–Photochemical polymers
  • Materials–Photothermal liquid crystal elastomers
  • Materials–Photochemical liquid crystal elastomers
  • Materials–Photothermal and photochemical effects in gels
  • Materials–Irreversible photochemical molecular crystals
  • Materials–Reversible photochemical molecular crystals
  • Materials–Organic-organic and inorganic-organic composites
  • Applications–Light induced translational motion and swimmers
  • Applications–Light controlled manipulation of objects

Invited Speakers:

  • Joanna Aizenberg (Harvard University, USA)
  • Ivan Aprahamian (Dartmouth College, USA)
  • Anna Balazs (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
  • Kaushik Bhattachayra (California Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Nicolas Guiseppone (Université de Strasbourg, France)
  • Ryan Hayward (University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
  • Seiya Kobatake (Osaka University, Japan)
  • Todd Martinez (Stanford University, USA)
  • Peter Pallfy-Muhoray (Kent State University, USA)
  • Jeff Rack (The University of New Mexico, USA)
  • C. Malla Reddy (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India)
  • Shenquiang Ren (University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, USA)
  • Robin Selinger (Kent State Universtity, USA)
  • Nelson Sepulveda (Michigan State University, USA)
  • M. Ravi Shankar (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
  • Sam Stupp (Northwestern University, USA)
  • Megan Valentine (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
  • Mark Warner (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
  • Tim White (University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
  • Zi Liang Wu (Zhejiang University, China)

Symposium Organizers

Chris Bardeen
University of California, Riverside

Nathalie Katsonis
University of Twente
MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology

Javier Read de Alaniz
University of California, Santa Barbara
Chemistry and Biochemistry

Yanlei Yu
Fudan University
Materials Science

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MRS publishes with Springer Nature


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