3 years ago

Fabrication of Liquid Crystalline Polyurethane Networks with a Pendant Azobenzene Group to Access Thermal/Photoresponsive Shape-Memory Effects

Fabrication of Liquid Crystalline Polyurethane Networks with a Pendant Azobenzene Group to Access Thermal/Photoresponsive Shape-Memory Effects
Ren-Fan Shao, Chen-Hui Zhu, Rayshan Visvanathan, Dan Liu, Yu-Zhong Wang, Xiao-Yang Li, Ke-Ke Yang, Zhi-Bin Wen, Noel A. Clark
Herein, we report a novel thermal/photoresponsive shape-memory polyurethane network with a pendant azobenzene group by utilizing its anisotropic–isotropic phase transitions and photoresponsive feature concurrently. To achieve this goal, the side-chain liquid crystalline polyurethane networks based on the pendant azobenzene group [SCLCPU(AZO)-Ns] were developed in a well-defined architecture. The smectic C nature of an LC phase in the polyurethane networks was confirmed by differential scanning calorimetry, polarized optical microscopy, and one-dimensional and two-dimensional wide-angle X-ray diffraction. The well-defined architecture-made SCLCPU(AZO)-N displays two distinct transition temperatures (Ttrans) (Tg and Tcl), with a difference of about 40 °C. Consequently, the excellent triple-shape-memory effect in this network was demonstrated by cyclic thermomechanical analysis. By making full use of the trans–cis photoisomerization of azobenzene, the reversible bending and unbending behaviors were realized under the light irradiation with wavelengths of 450 and 550 nm, respectively.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b05280

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b05280

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