Regulating the modulus of a chiral liquid crystal polymer network by light

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Abstract

We report a novel way to modulate the elastic modulus of azobenzene containing liquid crystal networks (LCNs) by exposure to light. The elastic modulus can cycle between different levels by controlling the illumination conditions. Exposing the polymer network to UV light near the trans absorption band of azobenzene gives a small reduction of the glass transition temperature thereby lowering the modulus. The addition of blue light addressing the cis absorption band surprisingly amplifies this effect. The continuous oscillatory effects of the trans-to-cis isomerization of the azobenzene overrule the overall net cis conversion. The influence on the chain dynamics of the network is demonstrated by dynamic mechanical thermal analysis which shows a large shift of the glass transition temperature and a modulus decrease by more than two orders of magnitude. The initial high modulus and the glassy state are recovered within a minute in the dark by switching off the light sources, despite the observation that azobenzene is still predominantly in its cis state. Based on these new findings, we are able to create a shape memory polymer LCN film at room temperature using light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3196-3201
Number of pages6
JournalSoft Matter
Volume12
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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liquid crystals
polymers
glass transition temperature
Absorption spectra
modulus of elasticity
Elastic moduli
absorption spectra
Liquid Crystals
Isomerization
Shape memory effect
Ultraviolet radiation
Thermoanalysis
isomerization
Light sources
Polymers
light sources
thermal analysis
Lighting
illumination
cycles

Cite this

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title = "Regulating the modulus of a chiral liquid crystal polymer network by light",
abstract = "We report a novel way to modulate the elastic modulus of azobenzene containing liquid crystal networks (LCNs) by exposure to light. The elastic modulus can cycle between different levels by controlling the illumination conditions. Exposing the polymer network to UV light near the trans absorption band of azobenzene gives a small reduction of the glass transition temperature thereby lowering the modulus. The addition of blue light addressing the cis absorption band surprisingly amplifies this effect. The continuous oscillatory effects of the trans-to-cis isomerization of the azobenzene overrule the overall net cis conversion. The influence on the chain dynamics of the network is demonstrated by dynamic mechanical thermal analysis which shows a large shift of the glass transition temperature and a modulus decrease by more than two orders of magnitude. The initial high modulus and the glassy state are recovered within a minute in the dark by switching off the light sources, despite the observation that azobenzene is still predominantly in its cis state. Based on these new findings, we are able to create a shape memory polymer LCN film at room temperature using light.",
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Regulating the modulus of a chiral liquid crystal polymer network by light. / Kumar, K.; Schenning, A.P.H.J.; Broer, D.J.; Liu, D.

In: Soft Matter, Vol. 12, No. 13, 2016, p. 3196-3201.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Regulating the modulus of a chiral liquid crystal polymer network by light

AU - Kumar, K.

AU - Schenning, A.P.H.J.

AU - Broer, D.J.

AU - Liu, D.

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - We report a novel way to modulate the elastic modulus of azobenzene containing liquid crystal networks (LCNs) by exposure to light. The elastic modulus can cycle between different levels by controlling the illumination conditions. Exposing the polymer network to UV light near the trans absorption band of azobenzene gives a small reduction of the glass transition temperature thereby lowering the modulus. The addition of blue light addressing the cis absorption band surprisingly amplifies this effect. The continuous oscillatory effects of the trans-to-cis isomerization of the azobenzene overrule the overall net cis conversion. The influence on the chain dynamics of the network is demonstrated by dynamic mechanical thermal analysis which shows a large shift of the glass transition temperature and a modulus decrease by more than two orders of magnitude. The initial high modulus and the glassy state are recovered within a minute in the dark by switching off the light sources, despite the observation that azobenzene is still predominantly in its cis state. Based on these new findings, we are able to create a shape memory polymer LCN film at room temperature using light.

AB - We report a novel way to modulate the elastic modulus of azobenzene containing liquid crystal networks (LCNs) by exposure to light. The elastic modulus can cycle between different levels by controlling the illumination conditions. Exposing the polymer network to UV light near the trans absorption band of azobenzene gives a small reduction of the glass transition temperature thereby lowering the modulus. The addition of blue light addressing the cis absorption band surprisingly amplifies this effect. The continuous oscillatory effects of the trans-to-cis isomerization of the azobenzene overrule the overall net cis conversion. The influence on the chain dynamics of the network is demonstrated by dynamic mechanical thermal analysis which shows a large shift of the glass transition temperature and a modulus decrease by more than two orders of magnitude. The initial high modulus and the glassy state are recovered within a minute in the dark by switching off the light sources, despite the observation that azobenzene is still predominantly in its cis state. Based on these new findings, we are able to create a shape memory polymer LCN film at room temperature using light.

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