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Smart Materials

Smart materials describe a general term that refers to those special materials which are characterised by their intelligence as they can recognise appropriately to stimuli from the internal and external environment. The concept of smart materials comes from biomimicking (see biomimicry). It is to develop some equal live materials with diverse functions similar to those of study organism.

Characterisation of smart materials properties

  • Be able to perceive, detect and identify the intensity of external and internal stimuli from sources such as light, heat, cold, stress, chemistry, etc.
  • Be able to respond to any changes (external as the internal world)
  • Be ready to select response according to the ways of programmable design
  • Be prepared to the response timely, appropriate and sensitive
  • Prepared to fast return to the previous state when external stimuli removed.

These composite materials which have developed with the exceptional performance or and functional property are used in various applications and are results of the continuous cycle of the breakthrough within physics, chemistry, and material’s science and newer fields of Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, and information science. Smart materials are, for example, in modern medicine, used in drug-delivery systems, to prepare artificial skin and muscle. Furthermore, self-cleaning t-shirt properties mimicked after the lotus flower (lotus effect). Development of smart materials of today requires the most advanced direction of material’s sciences. These discoveries of properties often play an essential role in the world economy, society, and national security.

See Bioinspiration and Structural colour


  • Bioinspired intelligent nanostructured interfacial materials by Lei Jiang and Lin Feng. Published 2010 by World Scientific Publishing

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