Crystal expansion makes light work of moving microbeads

Moving microbeads in liquid crystals
Light-induced displacement of a microbead through the thermal expansion of liquid crystals

By exploiting local thermal expansion and mesophase changes, scientists from Japan are able to move microbeads dispersed in a liquid crystal using UV light, despite neither material being light-responsive.

Takenaka and Yamamoto from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan have used UV light to move a microbead through a 4-cyano-4′-pentylbiphenyl liquid crystal, without the need for a complicated experimental setup or addition of photo responsive materials.

Read the full story by Amy Middleton-Gear in Chemistry World.

This article is free to access until 16 January 2016

Y Takenaka and T Yamamoto, Soft Matter, 2016. DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02324J

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