Photonic manipulation of topological defects in liquid-crystal emulsions doped with azobenzene derivatives

Takahiro Yamamoto, Yuka Tabe, Hiroshi Yokoyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


By modulating liquid-crystal alignment on a colloidal sphere, we successfully manipulated topological defects in glycerol-droplet/liquid-crystal emulsions doped with amphiphilic azobenzene derivatives. At an initial state, a disclination loop (Saturn ring) could be observed around the droplet, in which the azobenzene molecules should adsorb onto the droplet and liquid crystal molecules align normally to the surface of the droplet. On irradiation with ultra-violet light (λ = 365 nm), the disclination loop was unfastened and transformed into two point defects called boojums. This should be attributed to the alignment change of the liquid crystal molecules from normal to planar arrangement triggered by trans-to-cis photoisomerization of the adsorbed azo-dyes. On irradiation with visible light causing cis-to-trans photoisomerization (λ = 435 nm), the boojums went back to the Saturn ring reversibly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-84
Number of pages4
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun 19



  • Azobenzene
  • Liquid-crystal colloids
  • Nano-structured liquid crystals
  • Photoisomerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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