Deliberate change between physical states consumes energy, and so do the adaptive processes conceived by livMatS. To be truly autonomous, materials systems should harvest the energy that they require for adaptation or self-healing from their immediate environment, and they should be able to convert and store it for later use. Research in livMatS focuses on three different sources for clean energy: solar, thermal, and mechanical energy.
The harvested energy will either directly power functionalities of the materials systems, or be converted into, stored, and used as electrical energy. In addition, interconversion and storage into mechanical and chemical energy is also envisaged. Internal control over energy uptake, storage, and distribution will be achieved by the installation of chemical, structural, and microsystem-based regulatory networks, so that energy is available in an appropriate form exactly when and where it is needed. All these functionalities should be an integral part of the materials systems. This unprecedented combination of functional principles and their seamless and non-interfering integration poses a great challenge for the conception and development of fabrication technologies.