Liquid-phase super photoactuator through the synergetic effects of a Janus structure and solvent/thermal/photo Responses

Junchao Liu, Jingxia Wang, Tomiki Ikeda, Lei Jiang

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Azobenzene actuator has attracted wide research attention in the fields of soft robots, artificial muscles, etc., owing to the typical photoresponsive material based on its reversible trans–cis isomerization. However, it remains challenging to enhance the actuation performance of azobenzene actuators through simple methods and can work in complex and variable environments. In contrast to complex molecular functional design, this study presents a Janus azobenzene inverse opal actuator: one side of a monodomain azobenzene polymer and the other side of a polydomain azobenzene inverse opal structure. The proposed design can significantly enhance the photoactuation performance in the liquid phase based on the synergetic effects of the Janus structure and the plastic influence of solvent/thermal/photo responses on the polymer segment. Promising applications of photo-driven ring rolling in the liquid phase are demonstrated. The results of this study are of great significance for the design and fabrication of novel-type azobenzene actuators in the liquid phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2105728
Number of pages12
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • azobenzene photoactuator
  • inverse opals
  • Janus structure
  • liquid phase
  • synergetic effect

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