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Proceedings Paper

Effects of the liquid-crystalline order on the light-induced deformation of azobenzene elastomers
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Paper Abstract

Azobenzene elastomers due to their ability to change the shape under light irradiation have a fascinating potential for technical applications serving as artificial muscles, sensors, microrobots, actuators, etc. The present study deals with the effects of the orientation liquid-crystalline (LC) interactions between the chromophores on the light-induced deformation of azobenzene elastomers. The orientation LC-interactions are taken into account in the framework of the mean-field approximation. Interaction of the chromophores with the light is described by means of an orientation potential which leads to preferable orientation of chromophores perpendicular to the light polarization direction. The statistics of network strands is described in the framework of the Gaussian approach. We consider photo-mechanical properties of azobenzene elastomers which are in the LC nematic state even at the absence of the light. It is shown that the light is able to induce a phase transition form the uniaxial to biaxial state with preferable orientation of chromophores perpendicular to the light polarization direction. The photomechanical behaviour is very sensitive to the chemical structure of network strands: an azobenzene elastomers can elongate (contract) along the polarization direction of the light, if the chromophores are oriented preferably perpendicular (parallel) to the backbones of network strands.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 November 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8545, Optical Materials and Biomaterials in Security and Defence Systems Technology IX, 854507 (8 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.970309
Show Author Affiliations
Vladimir P. Toshchevikov, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (Germany)
Institute of Macromolecular Compounds (Russian Federation)
Marina Saphiannikova Grenzer, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (Germany)
Gert Heinrich, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8545:
Optical Materials and Biomaterials in Security and Defence Systems Technology IX
Roberto Zamboni; François Kajzar; Attila A. Szep, Editor(s)

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