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Optimization of self-assembly process for solitonic defect in CLCs coatings

Cholesteric Liquid Crystals (LC) are well known and currently under investigation for their versatility in large scale of applications. One of the most common texture is the fingerprint one. Moreover, this isn’t the only powerful metastable state of it. Solitonic defects as Toron for example can be generated in specific conditions which enhance the possible applications

Project Summary

The self-regulating functions of electrically- functionalized liquid crystal oligomer network (LCON)–based soft robots has been shown in prior work at the cm-scale, which is an unsuitable size for microfluidic, surface transport and haptic applications. Therefore, this project will miniaturize the existing self- regulating LCON oscillators into the mm-scale. Liquid crystal network (LCN) chemistry may be useful for this scale change. Yet, the electrical functionalization of the material must be retained together with its self-regulating properties. The use of sputter coating, laser- cutting and custom PCB-board designs are planned to overcome this challenge

Project Goals 

To control the self-assembly process by tuning: The coating thickness over the pitch size

To control the self-assembly process by tuning: The air/coating interface (Liquid crystal nature & surfactant)

Study of the dynamic of the coating after polymerization upon light or temperature