Authors Toshchevikov, V. ; Petrova, T. ; Grenzer, M.
Title Kinetics of ordering and deformation in photosensitive azobenzene LC networks
Date 15.05.2018
Number 55502
Abstract Azobenzene-containing polymer networks are unique compounds that are able to change their shape in response to light, which makes them prospective materials for photocontrollable nano-templates, sensors, microrobots, artificial muscles, etc. In present work, we study the kinetics of light-induced ordering and deformation in two-component polymer networks containing optically inert liquid crystalline (LC) mesogens and azobenzene chromophores. By this, we generalize our previous theory [J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2017, 8, 1094–1098] devoted to the kinetics of photoizomerization in one-component azo-polymers without mesogenic inclusions. The kinetic equations of photoisomerization are used, taking into account the angular selectivity of the photoisomerization with respect to the polarization direction of the light E. After multiple trans-cis-trans photoisomerization cycles, the azobenzenes are reoriented preferably perpendicular to the vector E. This changes the ordering of the mesogens due to the orientational LC interactions between the components. The light-induced reordering is accompanied by network deformation. Time evolution of ordering and deformation is found as a function of the intensity of light and structural parameters of the LC azo-networks, which define the viscosity, the strength of the LC interactions between the components, the volume fraction of the azobenzene moieties, and the angular distribution of azobenzenes in polymer chains. Established structure-property relationships are in agreement with a number of experimental data.
Publisher Polymers
Citation Polymers 10 (2018) ID531
Tags photodeformable polymers polymer networks liquid crystals statistical physics kinetics

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