Freely configurable Functionalization Tool for switchable Information Carriers

  • Melanie Ecker
  • Thorsten Pretsch


The selective compression of quick response (QR) and Data Matrix code carriers based on shape memory polymer (SMP) with a freely configurable steel ball type indenter and adjacent thermo-mechanical shape fixing gave notched, room temperature (23 °C) stable, temporary shapes with non-decipherable codes. The microscopic investigation of cryomicrotome sections unveiled indentation-related shape fixities of about 90 %. Independent of the selected two-dimensional code, the triggering of the SM effect resulted in sufficient shape recoveries to restore the code readability so that a maximum number of characters including 122 for a QR code (version 7) and 112 in case of a Data Matrix code (version 12) could be read with a scanning and decoding device. Due to the large number of difficult to copy shapes with on demand releasable information, SMPs may serve as viable information carriers for product and brand protection applications.


Shape memory polymer QR code Data Matrix code Freely configurable functionalization 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, project funding reference number 16V0043). Mr. Miteshkumar Patel is acknowledged for programming and recovering the information carriers. The authors thank Bayer MaterialScience AG for kindly providing the PEUs.


  1. 1.
    Leng J, Lu H, Liu Y, Huang WM, Du S (2009) Shape-Memory Polymers - A Class of Novel Smart Materials. MRS Bull 34:848-855.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Huang WM, Ding Z, Wang CC, Wei J, Zhao Y, Purnawali H (2010) Shape Memory Materials. materialstoday 13:54-61.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Pretsch T (2010) Review on the Functional Determinants and Durability of Shape Memory Polymers. Polymers 2 (3):120-158.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Behl M, Zotzmann J, Lendlein A (2010) Shape-Memory Polymers and Shape-Changing Polymers. Adv Polym Sci:1-40.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pretsch T (2008) Degradation, functional stability and protection of a shape memory polymer. WMRIF Workshop for young scientists. Tsukuba (Japan). ISBN: 978-4-9900563-3-9.:XXX-1 - 11.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pretsch T, Jakob I, Müller W (2009) Hydrolytic Degradation and Functional Stability of a segmented Shape Memory Poly(ester urethane). Polym Degrad Stab 94 (1):61-73.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Müller W, Pretsch T (2010) Hydrolytic aging of crystallizable shape memory poly(ester urethane): Effects on the thermo-mechanical properties and visco-elastic modeling. Eur Polym J 46 (8):1745-1758.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pretsch T, Ecker M, Schildhauer M, Maskos M (2012) Switchable information carriers based on shape memory polymer. J Mater Chem 22 (16):7757-7766.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Information technology — Automatic identification and data capture techniques — Bar code symbology — QR Code (2000). ISO copyright office, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Information technology — Automatic identification and data capture techniques — Data Matrix bar code symbology specification (2006). ISO copyright office, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
    Liu N, Huang WM, Phee SJ, Fan H, Chew KL (2007) A generic approach for producing various protrusive shapes on different size scales using shape-memory polymer. Smart Mater Struct 16:N47-N50.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Liu N, Xie Q, Huang WM, Phee SJ, Guo NQ (2008) Formation of micro protrusion arrays atop shape memory polymer. J Micromech Microeng 18:art. no. 027001.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Liu N, Huang WM, Phee SJ, Tong TH (2008) The formation of micro-protrusions atop a thermo-responsive shape memory polymer. Smart Mater Struct 17:art. no. 057001.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Division 6.5Polymers in Life Science and NanotechnologyBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations