8 November 2012 Effects of the liquid-crystalline order on the light-induced deformation of azobenzene elastomers
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Abstract
Azobenzene elastomers due to their ability to change the shape under light irradiation have a fascinating potential for technical applications serving as artificial muscles, sensors, microrobots, actuators, etc. The present study deals with the effects of the orientation liquid-crystalline (LC) interactions between the chromophores on the light-induced deformation of azobenzene elastomers. The orientation LC-interactions are taken into account in the framework of the mean-field approximation. Interaction of the chromophores with the light is described by means of an orientation potential which leads to preferable orientation of chromophores perpendicular to the light polarization direction. The statistics of network strands is described in the framework of the Gaussian approach. We consider photo-mechanical properties of azobenzene elastomers which are in the LC nematic state even at the absence of the light. It is shown that the light is able to induce a phase transition form the uniaxial to biaxial state with preferable orientation of chromophores perpendicular to the light polarization direction. The photomechanical behaviour is very sensitive to the chemical structure of network strands: an azobenzene elastomers can elongate (contract) along the polarization direction of the light, if the chromophores are oriented preferably perpendicular (parallel) to the backbones of network strands.
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Vladimir P. Toshchevikov, Vladimir P. Toshchevikov, Marina Saphiannikova Grenzer, Marina Saphiannikova Grenzer, Gert Heinrich, Gert Heinrich, } "Effects of the liquid-crystalline order on the light-induced deformation of azobenzene elastomers", Proc. SPIE 8545, Optical Materials and Biomaterials in Security and Defence Systems Technology IX, 854507 (8 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.970309; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.970309
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