Achieving oscillatory motion in polymers without requiring on/off switching of stimuli is a current challenge. Hereby, a free-standing liquid crystal polymer (LCP) is demonstrated to undergo a sustained oscillatory motion when triggered by light, moving back and forth, resembling the motion of a rocking-chair. Two polymer films having different azobenzene photo-switches have been studied, revealing photoswitch requirements as well as illumination conditions necessary to sustain oscillations. The motion presented here shows how feedback loops involving light-triggered actuation, self-shadowing and a shifting center of gravity can be utilized to achieve self-sustained motion in free-standing polymers.
- azo compounds
- light-driven liquid crystal actuators
- light-driven oscillation
- sustained motion