New insights into photoactivated volume generation boost surface morphing in liquid crystal coatings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)
165 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Photoactivated generation of disorder in a liquid crystal network produces free volume that leads to the controlled formation of dynamic corrugations at its surface. The liquid crystal order amplifies the deformation of copolymerized azobenzene, which takes place on molecular length scales, to a micrometre-sized macroscopic phenomenon based on changes in density. We postulate a new mechanism in which continuous oscillating dynamics of the trans-to-cis isomerization of the azobenzene overrules the net conversion, which is currently considered as the origin. This is supported by a significant local density decrease when both the trans and cis isomers are triggered simultaneously, either by dual-wavelength excitation or by the addition of a fluorescent agent converting part of the light to the cis-actuating wavelengths. This new insight provides a general guideline to boost free volume generation leading not only to larger macroscopic deformations but also to controllable and faster non-equilibrium dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8334-1/7
JournalNature Communications
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'New insights into photoactivated volume generation boost surface morphing in liquid crystal coatings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this