A novel azobenzene-siloxane hybrid material displaying photoinduced macroscopic motions has been prepared by one-step organosilane self-assembly. Two types of alkoxysilane precursors with either pendant or bridging azobenzene groups were synthesized via thiol-ene click reactions. Hybrid films with well-ordered lamellar structures were obtained by hydrolysis and polycondensation of these precursors. The film with solely pendant azobenzene groups showed reversible and rapid d-spacing variation upon UV-vis irradiation, which was induced by the trans-cis isomerization of azobenzene moieties. The flexible, free-standing film obtained by co-condensation of two types of precursors showed reversible bending-unbending motions upon UV-vis irradiation. The partial cross-linking between the siloxane layers by bridging azobenzene groups was crucial for photoinduced distortion of the film. This film possesses high elastic modulus, good thermal stability, and shows large amplitude of photoinduced bending-unbending over a wide temperature range. This is the first report on photoinduced macroscopic motions of azobenzene-containing siloxane-based materials. These materials possess great potential for applications in smart devices and energy conversion systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry