Photo-responsive surface topology in chiral nematic media

D. Liu, C.W.M. Bastiaansen, J.M.J. Toonder, den, D.J. Broer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


We report on the design and fabrication of 'smart surfaces' that exhibit dynamic changes in their surface topology in response to exposure to light. The principle is based on anisotropic geometric changes of a liquid crystal network upon a change of the molecular order parameter. The photomechanical property of the coating is induced by incorporating an azobenzene moiety into the liquid crystal network. The responsive surface topology consists of regions with two different types of molecular order: planar chiral-nematic areas and homeotropic. Under flood exposure with 365 nm light the surfaces deform from flat to one with a surface relief. The height of the relief structures is of the order of 1 um corresponding to strain difference of around 20%. Furthermore, we demonstrate surface reliefs can form either convex or concave structures upon exposure to UV light corresponding to the decrease or increase molecular order parameter, respectively, related to the isomeric state of the azobenzene crosslinker. The reversible deformation to the initial flat state occurs rapidly after removing the light source.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerging Liquid Crystal Technologies VII, January 21, 2012, San Francisco, California
EditorsL-C Chien
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event7th Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies Conference (ELCT 2012) - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 22 Jan 201225 Jan 2012
Conference number: 7

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


Conference7th Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies Conference (ELCT 2012)
Abbreviated titleELCT 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


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