Responsive microstructures on organic–inorganic hybrid films

Micro-periodic structures exhibiting shape memory have been fabricated on organic–inorganic hybrid films. The microscale structures are obtained by forming wrinkles via buckling of the stiff surface layer. The surface-modified layers are obtained by surface photopolymerization or by oxidation of the hybrid films. The microscale structures are spontaneously formed by the shrinkage of the underlayer via gelation. The surface microstructures on titania- or silica-based films with hydrophilic swellable polymers exhibit a humidity response, i.e., a shape memory effect. This is observed when the surface microstructure disappears and is subsequently recovered with cyclic variation of the surrounding humidity. Micro-rolls are also fabricated by the selective swelling of surface-modified layers.