A UV-responsive multifunctional photoelectric device based on discotic columnar nanostructures and molecular motors

Cheng Zou, Jian Sun, Meng Wang, Jingxia Wang, Yuchen Wu, Lanying Zhang, Zhongpeng Zhu, Guirong Xiong, Lei Jiang, Tomiki Ikeda, Huai Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Orientation control of ordered materials would not only produce new physical phenomenon but also facilitate the development of fancy devices. Discotic liquid crystals (DLCs) form 1D charge transport pathway by self-organizing into columnar nanostructures via π–π stacking. However, controlling the electrical properties in such nanostructures with some direct and instant way is a formidable task for their high viscosity and insensitivity to external stimuli. Herein, the arbitrary control over electrical conductivity of such columnar nanostructures is achieved with UV light by incorporating DLCs with molecular motors. Highly ordered DLC microstripe arrays are generated on desired substrate through a capillary bridge dewetting strategy. The conductivity of the microstripes could be continuously modulated by 365 nm light due to the influence of molecular motion under UV irradiation on the electron orbital overlap of columnar nanostructures. This is so because the disorder degree of the DLC molecules is associated with the intensity of UV light and the doping concentration of molecular motors. Moreover, the device shows memory effect and reversible conductivity change. The DLC microstripe arrays are very promising for the applications in UV detectors, memory devices, optical switches, and so on.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1806016
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • discotic liquid crystals
  • molecular motors
  • optical switches
  • overcrowded alkenes
  • tunable conductivity

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