From Event: SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics, 2016
Liquid crystal (LC) is the promising material for the fabrication of high-performance soft, flexible devices. The fascinating and useful properties arise from their cooperative effect that inherently allows the macroscopic integration and control of molecular alignment through various external stimuli. To date, light-matter interaction is the most attractive stimuli and researchers developed photoalignment through photochemical or photophysical reactions triggered by linearly polarized light. Here we show the new choice based on molecular diffusion by photopolymerization. We found that photopolymerization of a LC monomer and a crosslinker through a photomask enables to direct molecular alignment in the resultant LC polymer network film. The key generating the molecular alignment is molecular diffusion due to the difference of chemical potentials between irradiated and unirradiated regions. This concept is applicable to various shapes of photomask and two-dimensional molecular alignments can be fabricated depending on the spatial design of photomask. By virtue of the inherent versatility of molecular diffusion in materials, the process would shed light on the fabrication of various high-performance flexible materials with molecular alignment having controlled patterns.
K. Hisano, M. Aizawa, M. Ishizu, Y. Kurata, and A. Shishido, "Direct induction of molecular alignment in liquid crystal polymer network film by photopolymerization," Proc. SPIE 9940, Liquid Crystals XX, 99400B (Presented at SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics: August 28, 2016; Published: 23 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2236148.
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