Photo-responsive helical motion by light-driven molecular motors in a liquid crystal network

Jiaxin Hou, Anirban Mondal, Guiying Long, Laurens de Haan, Wei Zhao, Guofu Zhou, Danqing Liu, Dirk Broer, Jiawen Chen, Ben L. Feringa

Photo-responsive helical motion by light-driven molecular motors in a liquid crystal network

ABSTRACT
Controlling sophisticated motion by molecular motors is a major goal on the road to future actuators and soft robotics. Taking inspiration from biological motility and mechanical functions common to artificial machines, responsive small molecules have been used to achieve macroscopic effects, however, translating molecular movement along length scales to precisely defined linear, twisting and rotary motions remain particularly challenging. Here, we present the design, synthesis and functioning of liquid‐crystal network (LCN) materials with intrinsic rotary motors that allow the conversion of light energy into reversible helical motion. In this responsive system the photochemical‐driven molecular motor has a dual function operating both as chiral dopant and unidirectional rotor amplifying molecular motion into a controlled and reversible left‐ or right‐handed macroscopic twisting movement. By exploiting the dynamic chirality, directionality of motion and shape change of a single motor embedded in an LC‐network, complex mechanical motions including bending, walking and helical motion, in soft polymer materials are achieved which offers fascinating opportunities toward inherently photo‐responsive materials.


Language English
Journal Angewandte Chemie - International Edition
Year
2021
Pages 8251-8257
Volume 60
Issue
15
Status

published


KEYWORDS

chirality, helical motion, liquid-crystal network, molecular motors, photo-responsive motion


DOI: 10.1002/anie.202016254

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  • smart coating

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  • liquid crystal network

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  • photoresponsive

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Jiaxin Hou, Anirban Mondal, Guiying Long, Laurens de Haan, Wei Zhao, Guofu Zhou, Danqing Liu, Dirk Broer, Jiawen Chen, Ben L. Feringa. Photo-responsive helical motion by light-driven molecular motors in a liquid crystal network. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2021, 60(15), 8251-8257.

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