Photoinduced orientational transitions in a thermotropic nematic liquid crystal caused by modulation of the boundary conditions at the water surface were observed and investigated. The initially degenerated planar anchoring of liquid crystal at the water surface becomes homeotropic under near-UV irradiation which induces photoizomerization of comb-shaped azobenzene polymer additives adsorbed from the liquid crystal to its interface with water. After irradiation, the photoinduced orientational structures spontaneously relax to the initial ones. It was shown that the orientational sensitivity to light irradiation strongly depends on the polymerization degree of azobenzene additives.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry