Scientific Results

Alignment engineering in liquid crystalline elastomers: Free-form microstructures with multiple functionalities

Year: 2015

Authors: Zeng H., Wasylczyk P., Cerretti G., Martella D., Parmeggiani C., Wiersma D.S.

Autors Affiliation: European Laboratory of Non Linear Spectroscopy LENS, University of Florence, Via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; Faculty of Physics, Institute of Experimental Physics, University of Warsaw, ul. Hoza 69, Warszawa 00-681, Poland; Dipartimento di Chimica Ugo Schiff, University of Florence, via della Lastruccia 3-13, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; CNR-INO, Via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy

Abstract: We report a method to fabricate polymer microstructures with local control over the molecular orientation. Alignment control is achieved on molecular level in a structure of arbitrary form that can be from 1 to 100 mu m in size, by fixing the local boundary conditions with micro-grating patterns. The method makes use of two-photon polymerization (Direct Laser Writing) and is demonstrated specifically in liquid-crystalline elastomers. This concept allows for the realization of free-form polymeric structures with multiple functionalities which are not possible to realize with existing techniques and which can be locally controlled by light in the micrometer scale. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

Journal/Review: APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS

Volume: 106 (11)      Pages from: 111902  to: 111902

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 and from IIT SEED Project Microswim. H.Z. is supported by the ICTP Ph.D. Program. We also acknowledge support by the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze. We thank Matteo Burresi for the help with the experiments and the entire Optics of Complex Systems group at LENS for feedback and discussions.
KeyWords: Alignment; Crystalline materials; Elastomers; Microstructure; Molecular orientation, Alignment control; Direct laser writing; Liquid crystalline elastomers; Micrometer scale; Molecular levels; Polymer microstructures; Polymeric structures; Two photon polymerization; Polymers
DOI: 10.1063/1.4915268

Citations: 29
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