Photoinduced deformation of amphiphilic azo polymer colloidal spheres

J Am Chem Soc. 2005 Mar 2;127(8):2402-3. doi: 10.1021/ja0424981.


Photoinduced shape deformation of colloidal spheres made of an amphiphilic azo polymer has been demonstrated in this work. The polymer contains the donor-and-acceptor-type azobenzene chromophores and can form uniform colloidal spheres by dropwise adding water into its THF solution. When the colloidal spheres obtained were exposed to the interfering p-polarized Ar+ laser beams (150 mW/cm2), the colloidal spheres changed to prolates (i.e., "rugby-balls"), "spindles", and finally "rods", depending on the irradiation times. The elongated direction of the spheres was observed to be the same as the polarization direction of the laser beam. The average major-to-minor ratio of the ellipsoids could be easily adjusted by controlling the irradiation time. The deformation effect observed in this work can offer a new way to prepare nonspherical colloids from colloidal spheres and will shed new light on the correlation between the photodriven shape deformation and photoinduced surface relief gratings for the same type of polymers.