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Photoinduced Macroscopic Morphological Transformation of an Amphiphilic Diarylethene Assembly: Reversible Dynamic Motion

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posted on 28.12.2015, 12:07 by Kenji Higashiguchi, Genki Taira, Jun-ichiro Kitai, Takashi Hirose, Kenji Matsuda
Self-assembled microstructures of an amphiphilic diarylethene featuring an alkyl chain and triethylene glycol groups showed a photoinduced reversible morphological change in water. Reversible photoisomerization of the core diarylethene gave rise to a reversible morphological transformation between colorless microspheres and colored fibers. When colorless microspheres were irradiated with UV light, colored fibers were formed, and when the colored fibers were irradiated with visible light, the spheres were restored to their original positions where the spheres originally existed. This system showed reversible morphological change through not only photoirradiation but also temperature change. These behaviors can be interpreted as a phase transition between the sphere and fiber states. The dynamic process of the phase transition was monitored by polarized optical microscopy (POM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). It was revealed that the formation of fibers upon UV irradiation occurred radially at the surface of the sphere and the formation of the spheres upon visible-light irradiation occurred at the middle of the fiber. The unique photoinduced mechanical motion provides useful information for the design of sophisticated photoactuators.