Self-organized periodic micro/nanostructures caused by stimulus-responsive structural deformation often occur in anisotropic self-assembled supramolecular systems (e.g., liquid crystal systems). However, the long-range orderliness of these structures is often beyond control. In this article, we first demonstrate that a large-area disordered two-dimensional (2D) microgrid chiral structure appears in the cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) reactive mixture because of the photopolymerization-induced Helfrich deformation effect under exposure to the single UV-laser beam. The result is attributed to the impact of an internal longitudinal strain, which is caused by the pitch contraction of the CLC-monomer region through the continuing compression of the thickening CLC polymer layer adhered on the illuminated substrate of the sample during photopolymerization. The experimental results further show that a one-dimensional (1D) UV-laser interference field can be used to effectively control the postformed 2D microgrid structure to arrange in an orderly manner throughout the large exposed area (an order of centimeter). The optimum ability for controlling the orderliness of the microgrid structure can be achieved if the spacing width of the interference field approximates the periodicity of the postformed 2D microgrids. Several factors, such as the pitch of the CLC mixture and the included angle and intensity of the two interfering laser beams, which influence the orderliness and properties of the 2D microgrid structure, are explored in this study. The result of this research opens a new page to improve the applicability of the Helfrich deformation phenomenon and further provides a reference platform for manipulating, modifying, and even tailoring periodic micro/nanostructures in self-organized supramolecular soft-matter systems for application in advanced optics/photonics.
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