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Proceedings Paper

Model photo-responsive elastomers based on the self-assembly of side group liquid crystal triblock copolymers (Presentation Recording)
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Paper Abstract

We report the synthesis of azobenzene-containing coil-liquid crystal-coil triblock copolymers that form uniform and highly reproducible elastomers by self-assembly. To serve as actuators to (non-invasively) steer a fiber optic, for example in deep brain stimulation, the polymers are designed to become monodomain “single liquid crystal” elastomers during the fiber-draw process and to have a large stress/strain response to stimulation with either light or heat. A fundamental scientific question that we seek to answer is how the interplay between the concentration of photoresponsive mesogens and the proximity to the nematic-isotropic transition governs the sensitivity of the material to stimuli. Specifically, a matched pair of polymers, one with ~5% azobenzene-containing side groups (~95% cyanobiphenyl side groups) and the other with 100% cyanobiphenyl side groups were synthesized from identical triblock pre-polymers (with polystyerene end blocks and 1,2-polybutadiene midblocks). These can be blended in various ratios to prepare a series of elastomers that are precisely matched in terms of the backbone length between physical crosslinks (because each polymer is derived from the same pre-polymer), while differing in % azobenzene side groups, allowing the effect of concentration of photoresponsive groups to be unambiguously determined.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 2015
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 9564, Light Manipulating Organic Materials and Devices II, 95640I (5 October 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2186347
Show Author Affiliations
Zuleikha Kurji, Washington State Univ. (United States)
California Institute of Technology (United States)
Julia A. Kornfield, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Mark G. Kuzyk, Washington State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9564:
Light Manipulating Organic Materials and Devices II
Jon A. Schuller, Editor(s)

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