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

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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

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Liquid Crystals
acceleration (physics)
liquid crystals
Free volume
coatings
Coatings
Fluorescent Dyes
Wavelength
Guidelines
axioms
Isomerization
Light
wavelengths
Isomers
isomerization
micrometers
isomers
disorders
excitation
azobenzene

Cite this

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title = "New insights into photoactivated volume generation boost surface morphing in liquid crystal coatings",
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.",
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New insights into photoactivated volume generation boost surface morphing in liquid crystal coatings. / Liu, D.; Broer, D.J.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 6, 2015, p. 8334-1/7.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Liu, D.

AU - Broer, D.J.

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AB - 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.

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