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Langmuir. 2019 Jan 29;35(4):875-881. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b03542. Epub 2019 Jan 8.

Dynamically Evolving Surface Patterns through Light-Triggered Wrinkling Erasure.

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Départment de Chimie , Université de Montréal , C. P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal , Quebec H3C 3J7E , Canada.
Department of Chemical Engineering , McMaster University , 1280 Main Street West , Hamilton , Ontario L8S 4M1 , Canada.
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology , McMaster University , 1280 Main Street West , Hamilton , Ontario L8S 4M1 , Canada.


For many applications, it is imperative that changes in polymer surface topography, especially periodic patterns, can be triggered on command by a well-defined remote signal. In this contribution, we report a light-induced cascade of changes in wrinkling wavelengths on thin polymer layers supported by an elastomeric substrate under tensile stress. Through the applied supramolecular design, the effect of varying the ratio of light-active and light-passive components can be easily assessed, and it is shown that both the cascade type as well as the rate of the progress of the dynamic light-induced changes can be tuned by this ratio as well as by the light intensity. Furthermore, for the reported phenomena to occur, nominally only every 20th polymer repeat unit needs to be occupied by a chromophore, which makes the conversion of the sub-nanometer photoisomerization reaction into 10 μm scale changes of periodic surface patterns extremely efficient.

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