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Issue 23, 2019
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Light-regulated molecular diffusion in a liquid crystal network

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Abstract

Photo-responsive liquid crystal polymer networks offer promising means to generate useful functional devices, but many of them focus on their mechanical response so as to generate surface features or shape change. Here, we investigate the photomechanical effect of the polymer network for molecular transport purposes. Dual wavelength illumination of an azobenzene-functionalized cholesteric liquid crystal polymer film produces excess free volume within the film, which results in an accelerated molecular diffusion through the film. Moreover, the polarization of the UV light exposure on the cholesteric network plays an important role in a remarkable enhancement of molecular diffusion. When linearly polarized UV light rotates along with the twist of the helical axis of the cholesteric polymer, excess free volume forms sequentially from the diffusion network toward the dry network in the polymer. It works in concert with the concentration gradient of the diffusant and greatly improves the diffusion through the film.

Graphical abstract: Light-regulated molecular diffusion in a liquid crystal network

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Article information


Submitted
27 Feb 2019
Accepted
16 May 2019
First published
22 May 2019

This article is Open Access

Soft Matter, 2019,15, 4737-4742
Article type
Paper

Light-regulated molecular diffusion in a liquid crystal network

A. Cao, R. J. H. van Raak and D. J. Broer, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 4737
DOI: 10.1039/C9SM00428A

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 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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