The European Physical Journal E

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 329–336 | Cite as

Glassy photomechanical liquid-crystal network actuators for microscale devices

  • C. L. van Oosten
  • K. D. Harris
  • C. W. M. Bastiaansen
  • D. J. Broer
Regular Article


In light-driven liquid-crystal network (LCN) actuators, large performance improvements are obtained by varying the orientation of the molecular director through the thickness of the film actuator. Experiments show that sub-millimeter bending radii are achieved using a splayed molecular orientation. Systems with a splayed or twisted nematic (TN) director profile drive greater amplitude and faster bending than uniaxial planar systems with the same chemical composition. The bending radii of these systems are predicted using a simple model including effects of light intensity, material composition and actuator thickness.


61.30.-v Liquid crystals 61.41.+e Polymers, elastomers, and plastics 83.80.Xz Liquid crystals: nematic, cholesteric, smectic, discotic, etc. 


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Supplementary material

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. L. van Oosten
    • 1
  • K. D. Harris
    • 1
  • C. W. M. Bastiaansen
    • 1
  • D. J. Broer
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringTechnische Universiteit EindhovenEindhovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Philips Research LaboratoriesHigh Tech Campus 4EindhovenThe Netherlands

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