Topography from Topology: Photoinduced Surface Features Generated in Liquid Crystal Polymer Networks

Authors

  • Michael E. McConney,

    1. Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, WPAFB, OH, USA
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  • Angel Martinez,

    1. Department of Physics, Liquid Crystal Materials Research Center, Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and Materials Science Engineering Program, University of Colorado, Boulder Colorado, 80309, USA, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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  • Vincent P. Tondiglia,

    1. Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, WPAFB, OH, USA
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  • Kyung Min Lee,

    1. Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, WPAFB, OH, USA
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  • Derrick Langley,

    1. Air Force Institute of Technology, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, WPAFB, OH, USA
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  • Ivan I. Smalyukh,

    1. Department of Physics, Liquid Crystal Materials Research Center, Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and Materials Science Engineering Program, University of Colorado, Boulder Colorado, 80309, USA, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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  • Timothy J. White

    Corresponding author
    1. Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, WPAFB, OH, USA
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Abstract

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Films subsumed with topological defects are transformed into complex, topographical surface features with light irradiation of azobenzene-functionalized liquid crystal polymer networks (azo-LCNs). Using a specially designed optical setup and photoalignment materials, azo-LCN films containing either singular or multiple defects with strengths ranging from |½| to as much as |10| are examined. The local order of an azo-LCN material for a given defect strength dictates a complex, mechanical response observed as topographical surface features.

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