The performance of any engineering material is naturally limited by its structure, and while each material suffers from one or multiple shortcomings when considered for a particular application, these can be potentially circumvented by hybridization with other materials. By combining organic crystals with MXenes as thermal absorbers and charged polymers as adhesive counter-ionic components, we propose a simple access to flexible hybrid organic crystal materials that have the ability to mechanically respond to infrared light. The ensuing hybrid organic crystals are durable, respond fast, and can be cycled between straight and deformed state repeatedly without fatigue. The point of flexure and the curvature of the crystals can be precisely controlled by modulating the position, duration, and power of thermal excitation, and this control can be extended from individual hybrid crystals to motion of ordered two-dimensional arrays of such crystals. We also demonstrate that excitation can be achieved over very long distances (>3 m). The ability to control the shape with infrared light adds to the versatility in the anticipated applications of organic crystals, most immediately in their application as thermally controllable flexible optical waveguides for signal transmission in flexible organic electronics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)