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Nat Commun. 2016 Jul 4;7:12094. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12094.

Light-melt adhesive based on dynamic carbon frameworks in a columnar liquid-crystal phase.

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Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.
PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.
Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan.
Department of Molecular Design and Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8603, Japan.
School of Chemistry, University of Costa Rica, San Pedro Montes de Oca, San José 11501-2060, Costa Rica.
Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan.


Liquid crystal (LC) provides a suitable platform to exploit structural motions of molecules in a condensed phase. Amplification of the structural changes enables a variety of technologies not only in LC displays but also in other applications. Until very recently, however, a practical use of LCs for removable adhesives has not been explored, although a spontaneous disorganization of LC materials can be easily triggered by light-induced isomerization of photoactive components. The difficulty of such application derives from the requirements for simultaneous implementation of sufficient bonding strength and its rapid disappearance by photoirradiation. Here we report a dynamic molecular LC material that meets these requirements. Columnar-stacked V-shaped carbon frameworks display sufficient bonding strength even during heating conditions, while its bonding ability is immediately lost by a light-induced self-melting function. The light-melt adhesive is reusable and its fluorescence colour reversibly changes during the cycle, visualizing the bonding/nonbonding phases of the adhesive.

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