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Liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) technology was applied to practical use by a group of researchers who used this material to demonstrate a miniaturized gripping tool grown on optical fibers. Scientists from the University of Warsaw worked with colleagues from the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow to build the miniaturized “optical pliers” using LCE microstructures.
The device was built by growing two bending “jaws” on the tips of hair-size optical fibers. The 200-μm grippers are controlled remotely with green light delivered through the fibers. The light energy is absorbed and directly converted to activate the jaws of the gripper.
LCEs are smart materials that can reversibly change…READ MORE