Materials Science

Switching locally or globally

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Science  04 Dec 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6265, pp. 1218-1219
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6265.1218-g

Dynamic materials that can switch between two or more states have found a range of applications, from shape-memory materials to those with changeable surface adhesion properties. Lee et al. explore the properties of 1,3,5-tris(4-carboxyphenyl)benzene (BTB) absorbed from solution onto the surface of freshly cleaved, highly oriented pyrolytic graphite. BTB forms an open network structure and is able to accommodate polyaromatic guest molecules. However, though the application of a voltage bias, the network structure collapses, squeezing out the guest molecules in the local region. The same squeezing effect can also be achieved globally, by changing the temperature, thus giving two ways to tune the overall surface properties.

ACS Nano 10.1021/acsnano.5b06081 (2015).

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