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Issue 83, 2017, Issue in Progress
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Steering with light: indexable photomotility in liquid crystalline polymers

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Abstract

Harnessing light to achieve manipulation and motility in meso and mm-scale systems offers the ability to remotely trigger actuation without requiring on-board power. Central to achieving macroscopic photomotility is the generation of asymmetric interaction between the light-responsive actuator and a substrate. Here, we demonstrate a facile route for achieving indexable, stepped translation of structures fabricated from azobenzene-functionalize liquid crystalline polymers (ALCP). The symmetry breaking in the dynamics of coiling (during irradiation) and uncoiling (when the light is turned off) as a function of the director orientation in splayed ALCP strips leads to asymmetric reaction forces in the interaction with a surface. The broken symmetry leads to directional translation of the center of mass in discrete steps for each on/off cycle of irradiation. Creating composite structures offers a route for hard-coding the trajectories of motility across a range of trajectories that are either rectilinear or curvilinear. Expanding this approach can offer a framework for achieving steerable light-powered microrobots that can translate on arbitrary surface topographies.

Graphical abstract: Steering with light: indexable photomotility in liquid crystalline polymers

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Sep 2017, accepted on 06 Nov 2017 and first published on 13 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7RA10619J
Citation: RSC Adv., 2017,7, 52510-52516
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Steering with light: indexable photomotility in liquid crystalline polymers

    M. Babaei, J. A. Clement, K. Dayal and M. R. Shankar, RSC Adv., 2017, 7, 52510
    DOI: 10.1039/C7RA10619J

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

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      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
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      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
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      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
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      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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