Light activated non-reciprocal motion in liquid crystalline networks by designed microactuator architecture

Year: 2017

Authors: Martella D., Antonioli D., Nocentini S., Wiersma D.S., Galli G., Laus M., Parmeggiani C.

Autors Affiliation: European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy (LENS), Università degli Studi di Firenze, via Nello Carrara 1, Sesto Fiorentino, 50019, Italy; Dipartimento di Chimica “Ugo Schiff”, Università degli Studi di Firenze, via della Lastruccia 3-13, Sesto Fiorentino, 50019, Italy; Dipartimento di Scienze e Innovazione Tecnologica (DISIT), Universitá del Piemonte Orientale “A. Avogadro”, Viale T. Michel 11, Alessandria, 15121, Italy; Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale and UdR Pisa INSTM, Università di Pisa, via Moruzzi 13, Pisa, 56124, Italy; Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Sede Secondaria di Sesto Fiorentino, via Nello Carrara 1, Sesto Fiorentino, 50019, Italy

Abstract: Light responsive liquid crystalline networks were prepared by photopolymerization of azobenzene-doped mesogen mixtures and applied for production of micro-actuators by a laser writing technique. Adjusting the cross-linker content was found to be an efficient and easy way to control the dynamics of light-induced deformation from the micro- up to the macro-meter length scales. Starting from a complete characterization of the response of millimeter-sized stripes under irradiation with different sources (LED and laser light), micro-structures based on different monomer mixtures were analyzed for micro-actuator preparation. Double stripes, able to perform a light driven asymmetric movement due to the different mixture properties, were created by a double step process through a laser writing system. These results are a simple demonstration of an optically activated non-reciprocal movement in the microscale by a chemical material manipulation. Moreover, we demonstrate a rapid actuator dynamics that allows a movement in the second time scale for macrostructures and a millisecond actuation in the microscale.

Journal/Review: RSC ADVANCES

Volume: 7 (32)      Pages from: 19940  to: 1994

More Information: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union\’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement no [291349] on photonic micro robotics.
DOI: 10.1039/c7ra03224b

Citations: 51
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