Shalini Soman

Shalini Soman

Doctoral Researcher

Research Area B

Cluster of Excellence livMatS @ FIT – Freiburg Center for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies



Volumetrically programmable four-dimensional actuators
Liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) represent an interesting class of materials because they can, when properly stimulated, undergo significant dimensional changes in directions that we can program during fabrication. Thus, they are suitable for the realization of artificial structures with programmable mechanical response. I will develop and demonstrate a technology to define arbitrarily aligned LCE “voxels” in a three-dimensional matrix, enabling the fabrication of a fully actuatable polymer volume. The overall final aim will be the demonstration of a 4D (x, y, z, t) “muscle”, a programmable volume with a controllable, time-variable shape.

First supervisor

Prof. Dr. Hans Zappe