From Event: SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics, 2016
We report the synthesis of azobenzene-containing coil-liquid crystal-coil triblock copolymers that can serve as mechano-optic actuators for applications that include non-invasively steering fiber optics. The coil (polystyrene) end-blocks phase segregate from the liquid crystal midblock forming of uniform and uniformly-spaced physical crosslinks, resulting in highly reproducible and thermoreversible networks by self-assembly. These polymers are elastic in the melt (at room temperature) and can be easily spun, coated or molded. Mechanical stretching results in a temporary monodomain alignment. Starting from identical triblock prepolymers (with polystyerene end blocks and 1,2-polybutadiene midblocks), a matched pair (azobenzene-containing, and non-azobenzene-containing) of liquid crystal triblock copolymers was synthesized. These triblocks were then be blended to prepare a series of elastomers with 0 to 5% azobenzene groups, while matching in nearly all other physical properties (cross-link density, modulus, birefringence, etc.), allowing the effect of concentration of photo-responsive groups to be unambiguously determined. Results will be presented that demonstrate this approach to independent control of optical density and photo-mechanical sensitivity.
Zuleikha Kurji, Julia A. Kornfield, and Mark G. Kuzyk, "Photo-responsive and thermoreversible networks from the self-assembly of azobenzene-containing liquid crystal triblock copolymers
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9939, Light Manipulating Organic Materials and Devices III, 99390B (Presented at SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics: August 31, 2016; Published: 3 November 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238494.5167077730001.
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