Photoresponsive Anisotropic Soft Solids: Liquid-Crystalline Physical Gels Based on a Chiral Photochromic Gelator


  • Partial financial support of Grant-in-Aids for Young Scientists (B) (No. 4704/15750113), for Scientific Research on Priority Areas of “Dynamic Control of Strongly Correlated Soft Materials” (No. 413/13031009), and for The 21st Century COE Program for Frontiers in Fundamental Chemistry from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology is gratefully acknowledged. The author M. M. acknowledges the Sasakawa Scientific Research Grant from The Japan Science Society for financial support. The author N. M. is thankful for financial support from the Research Fellowships of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) for Young Scientists.


Photoinduced reversible structural changes of anisotropic physical gels are applied to re-writable patterning (see Figure, a photo of a re-writable pattern). The change between a nematic gel and a cholesteric gel via a cholesteric liquid-crystalline sol state is induced by transcis photoisomerization of the azobenzene moieties in a chiral hydrogen-bonded gelator blended with a nematic liquid crystal.