Synthesis, Characterization and Photoinduction of Optical Anisotropy in Liquid Crystalline Diblock Azo-Copolymers

P Forcén, L Oriol, C Sánchez, R Alcalá, Søren Hvilsted, Katja Jankova Atanasova, J Loos

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Diblock copolymers with polymethyl methacrylate and side chain liquid crystalline WC) azopolymethacrylate blocks were synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The azobeazene content in these copolymers ranges from 52 to 7 wt %. For an azo conteat dowri to 20% they exhibit a LC behavior similar to that of the azo homopolymers. Thin films of these copolymers were characterized by transmission elevtron microscopy (TEM). A lamellar nanostructure was observed for azo content down to 20 wt %, while no structure is observed for the copolymer with a 7% azo content. The optical anisotropy induced in these films by illumination with linearly polarized 488 nm light was studied and the resuits compared with those of the azo homopolymer and of a random copolymer with a similar composition. The formation of azo aggregates inside the azo blocks is strongly reduced in going from the homopolymer to the copolymers. Photoinduced azo orientation perpendicular to the 488 nm light polarization was found in aH the polymers. The orientational order parameter is very similar in the homopolymer and in the block copolymers with an azo content down to 20 wt %, while it is much lower in the random copolymer and in the 7 wt %.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Polymer Science. Part A, Polymer Chemistry
Pages (from-to)1899-1910
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), Azo polymers, Block copolymers, Liguid-crystalline polymers (LCP), Photoinduced anisotropy

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