Convenient and Robust Route to Photoswitchable Hierarchical Liquid Crystal Polymer Stripes via Flow-Enabled Self-Assembly

Xiao Li, Bo Li, Ming He, Wei Wang, Tianjie Wang, Aurelia Wang, Jiwoo Yu, Zhonglin Wang, Suck Won Hong, Myunghwan Byun, Shaoliang Lin, Haifeng Yu, Zhiqun Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Hierarchically arranged stripes of photoswitchable liquid crystal polymers (LCPs) containing azobenzene moieties were conveniently crafted via a flow-enabled self-assembly (FESA). Interestingly, by subjecting a drop of LCP solution to dry in a restricted geometry comprising two nearly parallel plates with a stationary upper plate and a movable lower plate that programmably traveled in a "stop-and-move" manner during the FESA process, photoswitchable LCP stripes were yielded, displaying two modes of deposition, namely, periodic primary stripes of large dimensions and regularly spaced secondary stripes of small dimensions situated between adjacent primary stripes (i.e., forming hierarchical LCP stripes). Notably, these hierarchical azobenzene moieties-containing stripes demonstrated sequential photoinduced reversible phase transition (i.e., photoswitching) due to the thickness difference between primary and secondary stripes. A UV light-induced expansion effect was observed on the LCP stripes. Clearly, such rapid creation of hierarchical stripes by FESA represents a robust means of organizing polymers, nanoparticles, colloids, DNA, etc. into complex yet ordered patterns over a large area in a simple and controllable manner for potential use in surface relief grating, photoactuators, photoswitchable devices, antifake labels, etc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4961-4970
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number5
StatePublished - 7 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-16-1-0187), the National Science Foundation (CMMI 1562075 and 1727313; DMR 1709420), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 51322301, 51573005, 51622301, and 51573046). This research was also supported by the BK21 Plus program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education. X.L. gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the China Scholarship Council.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Chemical Society.


  • azo-containing liquid crystalline polymer
  • flow-enabled self-assembly
  • hierarchical structure
  • photoexpansion effect
  • photoinduced phase transition


Dive into the research topics of 'Convenient and Robust Route to Photoswitchable Hierarchical Liquid Crystal Polymer Stripes via Flow-Enabled Self-Assembly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this