Glassy photomechanical liquid-crystal network actuators for microscale devices

Eur Phys J E Soft Matter. 2007 Jul;23(3):329-36. doi: 10.1140/epje/i2007-10196-1. Epub 2007 Aug 9.


In light-driven liquid-crystal network (LCN) actuators, large performance improvements are obtained by varying the orientation of the molecular director through the thickness of the film actuator. Experiments show that sub-millimeter bending radii are achieved using a splayed molecular orientation. Systems with a splayed or twisted nematic (TN) director profile drive greater amplitude and faster bending than uniaxial planar systems with the same chemical composition. The bending radii of these systems are predicted using a simple model including effects of light intensity, material composition and actuator thickness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Elasticity
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Liquid Crystals / chemistry*
  • Mechanics
  • Miniaturization
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Phase Transition
  • Photochemistry / instrumentation*
  • Photochemistry / methods
  • Photometry / instrumentation*
  • Photometry / methods
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Transducers*