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Smart Materials

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

Characterization of smart materials has properties as follows:

  • 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 internal world)
  • Be able to select response according to the ways of programmable design
  • Be able to the response timely, appropriate  and sensitive
  • Be able to return fast to the previous state when external stimuli are removed.

These composite materials which have been developed with a special 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, t-shirts that do not need to be cleaned with self-cleaning properties mimicked after the lotus flower (lotus effect). Development of smart materials of today requires the most advanced direction of material’s sciences. These new discoveries of properties often play an important role in world economy, society, and national security.

Sources and recommended reading: Bioinspired intelligent nanostructured interfacial materials by Lei Jiang and Lin Feng. Published 2010 by World Scientific Publishing


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