Reversible Self-Actuated Thermo-Responsive Pore Membrane

Younggeun Park, Maria Paz Gutierrez, Luke P. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Smart membranes, which can selectively control the transfer of light, air, humidity and temperature, are important to achieve indoor climate regulation. Even though reversible self-Actuation of smart membranes is desirable in large-scale, reversible self-regulation remains challenging. Specifically, reversible 100% opening/closing of pore actuation showing accurate responsiveness, reproducibility and structural flexibility, including uniform structure assembly, is currently very difficult. Here, we report a reversible, thermo-responsive self-Activated pore membrane that achieves opening and closing of pores. The reversible, self-Actuated thermo-responsive pore membrane was fabricated with hybrid materials of poly (N-isopropylacrylamide), (PNIPAM) within polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) to form a multi-dimensional pore array. Using Multiphysics simulation of heat transfer and structural mechanics based on finite element analysis, we demonstrated that pore opening and closing dynamics can be self-Activated at environmentally relevant temperatures. Temperature cycle characterizations of the pore structure revealed 100% opening ratio at T = 40 °C and 0% opening ratio at T = 20 °C. The flexibility of the membrane showed an accurate temperature-responsive function at a maximum bending angle of 45°. Addressing the importance of self-regulation, this reversible self-Actuated thermo-responsive pore membrane will advance the development of future large-scale smart membranes needed for sustainable indoor climate control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39402
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 19 Dec 2016


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