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Keywords:

  • actuators;
  • chromophores;
  • elastomers;
  • liquid crystals;
  • photomechanical effect
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Can light drive a motor? Azobenzene-containing liquid-crystalline elastomers (LCEs) and their composite materials have the potential to show three-dimensional movement by light irradiation. With the LCE laminated films, a first light-driven plastic motor has been developed, which can convert light energy directly into a continuous rotation without the aid of batteries, electric wires, or gears.