Photoresponsive ring-slide polymer gels showing unique behavior derived from the dynamic supramolecular framework have been prepared successfully. The characteristic ability of these gels to deform easily leads to stimuli-sensitive properties, while numerous types of gels have been developed for a variety of applications such as actuators, optically tunable lenses, and self-oscillating devices. Light is of particular use for controlling materials because of its spatial accuracy and time resolution in the irradiation process. The overshoot swelling behavior at the transient stage is a characteristic feature of slide-ring gels. The unusually large photo induced deformation for azobenzene-containing gel and the appearance of transient overshooting behavior in the swelling process are due to the pulley effect of the mobile cross-linkers. However, new behaviors found in the light-responsive slide-ring gels are expected to lead to more applications in polymer-gel science and technology.
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