Temperature-responsive photonic coatings are appealing for a variety of applications, including smart windows. However, the fabrication of such reflective polymer coatings remains a challenge. In this work, we report the development of a temperature-responsive, infrared-reflective coating consisting of a polymer-stabilized cholesteric liquid crystal siloxane, applied by a simple bar coating method. First, a side-chain liquid crystal oligosiloxane containing acrylate, chiral and mesogenic moieties was successfully synthesized via multiple steps, including preparing precursors, hydrosilylation, deprotection, and esterification reactions. Products of all the steps were fully characterized revealing a chain extension during the deprotection step. Subsequently, the photonic coating was fabricated by bar-coating the cholesteric liquid crystal oligomer on glass, using a mediator liquid crystalline molecule. After the UV-curing and removal of the mediator, a transparent IR reflective polymer-stabilized cholesteric liquid crystal coating was obtained. Notably, this fully cured, partially crosslinked transparent polymer coating retained temperature responsiveness due to the presence of non-reactive liquid-crystal oligosiloxanes. Upon increasing the temperature from room temperature, the polymer-stabilized cholesteric liquid crystal coating showed a continuous blue-shift of the reflection band from 1400 nm to 800 nm, and the shift was fully reversible.
- cholesteric liquid crystal elastomers
- polymer coatings
- stimuli-responsive materials