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Issue 28, 2006

Photopatterned liquid crystalline polymers for microactuators

Author affiliations

Abstract

We have investigated the properties of thermally-responsive, patterned liquid crystalline polymers as their dimensions are scaled to a size suitable for use in microelectromechanical systems. All samples were fabricated using surface alignment and photopatterning techniques that can be used to produce integrated devices anchored on a substrate. The thermomechanical properties of free-standing macroscopic samples with varying concentration of crosslinking molecules were investigated in order to optimize the thermal response of the material. It was found that samples containing 12% crosslinker were able to expand by up 19% when heated. The thermomechanical properties of surface-anchored films were also investigated, and it was found that by employing a polymerized cholesteric structure of the liquid crystalline units a thermal expansion of up to 11% could be achieved when the sample was heated to 200 °C. Patternability was demonstrated using a simple photopatterning process that was used to fabricate samples consisting of lines of cholesteric material on a bare substrate, or alternating regions of liquid crystalline polymer in the isotropic and cholesteric phases. Actuation of these films was also demonstrated.

Graphical abstract: Photopatterned liquid crystalline polymers for microactuators

Article information


Submitted
19 Apr 2006
Accepted
05 Jun 2006
First published
14 Jun 2006

J. Mater. Chem., 2006,16, 2903-2912
Article type
Paper

Photopatterned liquid crystalline polymers for microactuators

A. L. Elias, K. D. Harris, C. W. M. Bastiaansen, D. J. Broer and M. J. Brett, J. Mater. Chem., 2006, 16, 2903 DOI: 10.1039/B605511G

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