Exploring photo-deformation of polydomain liquid crystal polymers by homogenization

Chen Xuan, Yongzhong Huo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article explores photo-deformation of polydomain liquid crystal polymers. Photo-isomerization-driven stimuli differ from thermal ones in mechanical response in that domains deform in differing amounts according to their relative alignment with respect to light polarization, by contracting along their liquid crystal orientation by an amount maximized at parallel alignment, and therefore polydomains’ response to light is complicated. Theoretical analysis of polydomain deformation with random domain alignments can be greatly simplified by applying homogenization method to obtain effective overall deformation. Not only is polydomain photo deformation very different from monodomain, but domain distributions enable very different photo responses. Anticlastic, syn-clastic and cylindrical-shell bending modes will be predicted, dictated by order parameter and material thickness. This work serves as a guide to theoretical analysis of composite materials with microstructure and to controlling their morphing shapes experimentally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-30
Number of pages14
JournalSoft Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • Liquid crystal
  • homogenization
  • photo-bend
  • polydomain

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