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Advanced Materials

Light-Driven Chiral Molecular Switches or Motors in Liquid Crystals

Authors

  • Yan Wang,

    1. Liquid Crystal Institute and Chemical Physics, Interdisciplinary Program, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
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  • Quan Li

    Corresponding author
    1. Liquid Crystal Institute and Chemical Physics, Interdisciplinary Program, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
    • Liquid Crystal Institute and Chemical Physics, Interdisciplinary Program, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA.

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  • This review is adapted from the forthcoming book Liquid Crystals Beyond Displays: Chemistry, Physics and Applications (Ed: Q. Li), John Wiley & Sons, 2012

Abstract

The ability to tune molecular self-organization with an external stimulus is a main driving force in the bottom-up nanofabrication of molecular devices. Light-driven chiral molecular switches or motors in liquid crystals that are capable of self-organizing into optically tunable helical superstructures undoubtedly represent a striking example, owing to their unique property of selective light reflection and which may lead to applications in the future. In this review, we focus on different classes of light-driven chiral molecular switches or motors in liquid crystal media for the induction and manipulation of photoresponsive cholesteric liquid crystal systems and their consequent applications. Moreover, the change of helical twisting powers of chiral dopants and their capability of helix inversion in the induced cholesteric phases are highlighted and discussed in the light of their molecular geometric changes.

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