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Reconfiguring Nanocomposite Liquid Crystal Polymer Films with Visible Light

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Department of Polymer Science & Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, United States
‡ § Department of Chemical Engineering & Chemistry and §Institute for Complex Molecular Systems, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
*E-mail [email protected] (R.C.H.).
*E-mail [email protected] (D.J.B.).
Cite this: Macromolecules 2016, 49, 5, 1575–1581
Publication Date (Web):February 26, 2016
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    Patterns of white light are projected on liquid crystal (LC) polymer films containing gold nanospheres (NS) or nanorods (NR) to induce out-of-plane buckling through a photothermal effect. Straightforward synthetic techniques are used to provide well-dispersed nanocomposite films, with NRs exhibiting self-alignment with the LC director. Using a combination of prepatterned director orientation and spatiotemporal variations in light intensity, these nanocomposite films can be reversibly configured into different 3D states. Fine control over shape is demonstrated through variations in size, shape, and intensity of the illuminated region. Switching time scales are found to be of order a few seconds or below, likely reflecting the intrinsic relaxation time of the LC materials.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.6b00165.

    • UV–vis spectra of splay and azimuthally oriented NRLC films, dynamic mechanical analysis of a planar oriented NSLC film, the transmittance spectra of NS and NRLC films with unpolarized incident light (PDF)

    • Videos of actuations in real time (ZIP)

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