Light-Induced Reorganization in Self-Assembled Liquid Crystal Gels: Electrically Switchable Diffraction Gratings


  • The authors thank the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, le Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies of Québec and the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations for financial support.


Electrically switchable diffraction gratings can be formed in the self-assembled cholesteric liquid crystal gels prepared using an azobenzene-containing gelator. The grating formation (see Figure) results from a light-induced reorganization process in these materials, which leads to the removal of the nanometer-sized fibrous aggregates of the gelator from the irradiated area to the non-irradiated area.