5 years ago

Vertical Orientation of Nanocylinders in Liquid-Crystalline Block Copolymers Directed by Light

Vertical Orientation of Nanocylinders in Liquid-Crystalline Block Copolymers Directed by Light
Zhijiao Dong, Tianjie Wang, Xiao Li, Shuai Huang, Haifeng Yu
The microphase-separated nanostructures of block copolymers are ideal nanotemplates for advanced fabrication, but they are greatly limited by the rapid and precise manipulation especially at room temperature. Here we report one method of light-directed regulation of nanostructures in thin films of liquid-crystalline diblock copolymers containing azobenzene units as photoresponsive mesogens. The in-plane orientated nanocylinders in thin film can be light-directed into out-of-plane on a time scale of seconds at room temperature. This fast regulation is beneficial from the fast process of photoinduced phase transition of the mesogenic block from liquid crystal to disordered isotropic phase. Several influence factors like the molecular weight of polymer, film thickness, light intensity, and relative humidity were studied in the light-directed processes. In addition, the photoregulated nanostructures demonstrate their capability of being photopatterned and further used as nanotemplates for fabrication of nanoparticles. The light-directed method shows noncontact, precise, and reversible features, enabling it to find further applications in fast control of nanostructures for nanofabrication and nanoengineering.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b06086

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b06086

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