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Proceedings Paper

Photo-responsive surface topology in chiral nematic media
Author(s): Danqing Liu; Cees W. M. Bastiaansen; Jaap. M. J. Toonder; Dirk J. Broer
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Paper Abstract

We report on the design and fabrication of 'smart surfaces' that exhibit dynamic changes in their surface topology in response to exposure to light. The principle is based on anisotropic geometric changes of a liquid crystal network upon a change of the molecular order parameter. The photomechanical property of the coating is induced by incorporating an azobenzene moiety into the liquid crystal network. The responsive surface topology consists of regions with two different types of molecular order: planar chiral-nematic areas and homeotropic. Under flood exposure with 365 nm light the surfaces deform from flat to one with a surface relief. The height of the relief structures is of the order of 1 um corresponding to strain difference of around 20%. Furthermore, we demonstrate surface reliefs can form either convex or concave structures upon exposure to UV light corresponding to the decrease or increase molecular order parameter, respectively, related to the isomeric state of the azobenzene crosslinker. The reversible deformation to the initial flat state occurs rapidly after removing the light source.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 2012
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8279, Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies VII, 82790P (10 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.909899
Show Author Affiliations
Danqing Liu, Eindhoven Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
Cees W. M. Bastiaansen, Eindhoven Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
Jaap. M. J. Toonder, Eindhoven Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
Dirk J. Broer, Eindhoven Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8279:
Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies VII
Liang-Chy Chien, Editor(s)

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