Constitutive model for photo-mechanical behaviors of photo-induced shape memory polymers

Kevin N. Long, Timothy F. Scott, H. Jerry Qi, Martin L. Dunn, Christopher N. Bowman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther

1 Citation (Scopus)


Light-activated polymers are an exciting class of materials that respond mechanically when irradiated at particular wavelengths. Recent demonstrations include two novel polymers developed by Scott et al (2006) and Lendlein et al (2005). In these polymers, photochemistry alters the microstructure of the cross-linked polymer network, which is further translated as light-induced deformation and when properly used light-induced shape memory effect. In this work, we develop a model framework to simulate the photomechanical response of light-activated polymer systems. This framework breaks down the observed macroscopic photomechanical phenomenon into four coupled sets of underlying physics, which occur throughout the material during irradiation and mechanical deformation. In the context of this framework, a basic photomechanical phenomenon involves simultaneously modeling photophysics, photochemistry, chemomechanical coupling, and mechanical behavior. Furthermore, network alteration are accounted for through the parallel decomposition of the cross-linked network into two components, an original network and a photochemically altered network, which allows to capture the observed photomechanical behaviors demonstrated in these materials. One of the principal strengths of this model framework is its generality as it can be applied to light activated polymer systems with fundamentally different of photophysics, photochemistry, and chemomechanical behaviors simply by choosing different field equations for the four sets of physics specific to a material system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndustrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2009
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventIndustrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2009 - San Diego, CA, United States of America
Duration: 9 Mar 200910 Mar 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceIndustrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2009
CountryUnited States of America
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Constitutive modeling
  • Finite deformation
  • Light-activated polymers
  • Shape memory polymers

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