Shape Memory Polymer–Inorganic Hybrid Nanocomposites

  • Radu Reit
  • Benjamin Lund
  • Walter VoitEmail author
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 267)


Shape memory polymers (SMPs) have been the focus of much research over the last few decades. From the novelty of temporarily fixing a three-dimensional shape from a planar polymer sheet, to the uses that SMPs are seeing today as softening biomedical implants and self-deploying hinges, this class of smart materials has successfully been used to tackle a variety of biological, electrical, and mechanical problems. However, the properties of these networks are limited by the organic nature of the SMPs. To enhance their properties, researchers across the globe have looked into imparting the desirable properties of inorganic composite materials to these polymer networks. As the field of shape memory polymer composites began to grow, researchers quantified the unique enhancements that came at varying filler loading levels as a result of controlled material interface interactions. Specifically, the incorporation of nanofillers of various shapes and sizes leads to increased internal interfacial area relative to micro- and macrocomposites at identical loading fractions and imparts interesting mechanical, optical, electrical, thermal, and magnetic properties to these emerging nanocomposites. This new class of material, referred to in this review as shape memory polymer–inorganic nanocomposites (SMPINCs), allows a host of new interactions between the smart polymer and its surrounding environment as a result of the ability to control the internal environment of the polymer network and nanofiller. In this work, the reader is introduced to both the methods of preparing these composites and the effects the fillers have on the biological, electromagnetic, and mechanical properties of the resulting composite.


Inorganic nanocomposite Shape memory polymer Smart composite Stimuli-responsive material 



Gold-cadmium alloy


Bone morphogenetic protein


Boron nitride nanotube


Carbon nanotube


Dynamic mechanical analysis


Differential scanning calorimetry


Iron(III) oxide


Iron(II,III) oxide




Localized surface plasmon resonance




Multiwalled carbon nanotube


Sodium montmorillonite






Poly(ethylene glycol)


Poly(ethyl methacrylate)


Poly(ethylene oxide)


Poly(lactic acid)


Poly(methyl methacrylate)


Polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane


Silicon carbide


Shape memory polymer


Shape memory polymer composite


Shape memory polymer–inorganic nanocomposite


Degradation temperature


Glass transition temperature


Titanium dioxide


Melting temperature


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringThe University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryThe University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringThe University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA

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