Volume 133, Number 2, January 2021
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||23 March 2021|
Photo-induced recovery of liquid-crystalline order with azobenzene-containing copolymer in nematic liquid crystal
Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University - Kita-Shirakawa Oiwake-cho Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
Received: 11 October 2020
Accepted: 10 December 2020
The trans-to-cis isomerization of azobenzene in a nematic liquid crystal (LC) is known to disturb the orientational order and decrease the birefringence ($\Delta n$ ). Here, an increase of $\Delta n$ is newly observed in nematic LC gels with azobenzene copolymer microstructure. To clarify the mechanism, the photo-response of $\Delta n$ and the morphology of the copolymer microstructure are studied in the variant composition of the LC gels. The shape of the copolymer microstructure influences the LC alignment by the surface anchoring, leading to a lower birefringence of the LC gels. The trans-to-cis isomerization reduces the anchoring strength; hence, it recovers the uniform orientation of the LC director and reveals the increase of $\Delta n$ .
PACS: 61.30.-v – Liquid crystals / 61.30.Gd – Orientational order of liquid crystals; electric and magnetic field effects on order / 42.70.Df – Liquid crystals
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