Physikalisches Kolloquium

April 16, 2019 at 4 p.m. c.t. in HS KPH

Prof. Dr. Hans Jockers
Institut für Physik

Prof. Dr. Concettina Sfienti
Institut für Kernphysik

Photonic Arms, Legs and Skin
Prof. Dr. Diederik Wiersma (LENS, University of Florence, Italy)

Nature provides a great source of inspiration for many fields in science. When looking at locomotion in the living world, for instance, amazing solutions can be found especially for tiny, sub-millimeter size creatures. On these length scales the laws of physics behave so differently from what we are used to in our meter scale world.
In this contribution we will discuss how liquid crystalline elastomers can be used to create micro meter scale artificial creatures, taking inspiration from nature. We will show that it is possible to create microscopic robots with an overall size of hundreds of micrometers out of elastomers, that can walk on dry surfaces and swim in fluid environments and perform tasks like grabbing microscopic particles. The liquid crystalline elastomer constitutes the essential material in the realization of these microscopic robots, since it allows to use light as source of energy and control mechanism. We will give an overview of the recent progress that was made in this exciting adventure.