Photopolymerization-enforced stratification in liquid crystal materials

Wei Zhao (Corresponding author), Laurens T. de Haan, Dirk J. Broer, Yang Zhang, Pengrong Lv, Guofu Zhou (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Major research challenges for materials science and technology include the design of tailor-made materials with deliberately controlled and multifunctional performance attributes. In the field of composite materials, powerful methods have been developed to control and dynamically modulate the distribution of components to facilitate synergistic property combinations that are fundamental to the design of next-generation smart materials. Liquid crystals (LCs) are promising candidates to serve as building components for polymer composites, since they not only possess unique optical, electrical, and mechanical properties but can also respond to various stimuli. In this work, the development of stratification as a tool for controlling structure formation in LC/polymer materials and the applications of fabricated devices are summarized. This review focuses specifically on the use of light as a clean and effective trigger to initiate photopolymerization and induce stratification. The different mechanisms of light-induced stratification, their implementation for the design and fabrication of composite materials and their corresponding properties are presented. Finally, future challenges and opportunities in this exciting area, including new techniques, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101365
Number of pages29
JournalProgress in Polymer Science
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Liquid crystals
  • Phase separation
  • Photopolymerization
  • Polymer composites
  • Stimuli-induced stratification


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