Shape-Persistent Actuators from Hydrazone Photoswitches

Alexander Ryabchun, Quan Li, Federico Lancia, Ivan Aprahamian*, Nathalie Katsonis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)
73 Downloads (Pure)


Interfacing molecular photoswitches with liquid crystal polymers enables the amplification of their nanoscale motion into macroscopic shape transformations. Typically, the mechanism responsible for actuation involves light-induced molecular disorder. Here, we demonstrate that bistable hydrazones can drive (chiral) shape transformations in liquid crystal polymer networks, with photogenerated polymer shapes displaying a long-term stability that mirrors that of the switches. The mechanism involves a photoinduced buildup of tension in the polymer, with a negligible influence on the liquid crystalline order. Hydrazone-doped liquid crystal systems thus diversify the toolbox available to the field of light-adaptive molecular actuators and hold promise in terms of soft robotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1196-1200
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2019


  • UT-Hybrid-D


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