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13 February 2012 Switchable and responsive liquid crystal-functionalized microfibers produced via coaxial electrospinning
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Proceedings Volume 8279, Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies VII; 82790N (2012)
Event: SPIE OPTO, 2012, San Francisco, California, United States
"Wearable technology" or "smart textiles" are concepts that are very rapidly gaining in attention around the world, as industry as well as academia are making major advances in integrating advanced devices with various textiles around our household. The technological challenges involved in this development are however considerable, calling for new solutions, new materials and truly original thinking. An attractive approach to realize certain classes of wearable devices may be to use textile fibers functionalized by responsive materials such as liquid crystals, normally not connected to textiles. We can produce non-woven textiles with such fibers by means of electrospinning, a technique for producing very thin polymer fibers that can be uniform or with core-sheath geometries. Since the core can be made out of traditionally non-spinnable materials we can use coaxial electrospinning (one fluid spun inside another) to produce composite fibers with a core of liquid crystal inside a polymer sheath. The resulting fibers constitute an entirely new configuration for applying liquid crystals, giving the fibers functionality and responsiveness. For instance, with a cholesteric core we can produce non-woven mats with iridescent color that can be tuned (or removed) e.g. by heating or cooling. In this paper I describe our method of producing these novel functionalized fibers and their characterization, and I will discuss the directions for future research and application possibilities, e.g. in clothing-integrated sensors and indicators.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jan P. F. Lagerwall "Switchable and responsive liquid crystal-functionalized microfibers produced via coaxial electrospinning", Proc. SPIE 8279, Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies VII, 82790N (13 February 2012);

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