We report on the wavelength-selective photopolymerization of a hybrid acrylate-oxetane cholesteric liquid crystal monomer mixture. By controlling the sequence and rate of the orthogonal free-radical and cationic photopolymerization reactions, it is possible to control the degree of phase separation in the resulting liquid crystal interpenetrating networks. We show that this can be used to tune the reflective color of the structurally colored coatings produced. Conversely, the structural color can be used to monitor the degree of phase separation. Our new photopolymerization procedure allows for structuring liquid crystal networks in three dimensions, which has great potential for fabricating liquid crystal polymer materials with programmable functional properties.
- cholesteric liquid crystals
- in situ characterization
- interpenetrating polymer networks
- phase separation