Participating Group (2018-2019)
Creation of Polymer Soft Crystals with Photofunctional Properties
Co-Researcher: Naoki Urazoe (Chuo University Graduate School of Science and Engineering,Graduate student)
Soft crystals have high potential as functional materials with excellent responsiveness to weak external stimuli. In order to facilitate the application of these materials, we propose polymer soft crystals, which can be processed into complicated three-dimensional architectures as conventional linear polymers. In polymer solids, crystalline and amorphous regions can coexist and precisely designed polymers exhibit nano-phase separated structures as in block copolymers. With the aid of these properties, we create nano-phase-separated polymer soft crystals, in which flexible main chains and crystalline side chains are separated at nanometer scales.
Incorporation of photoresponsive moieties into crystalline regions could provide the polymer soft crystals with photofunctionality. Fabrication of free-standing films, thermal molding and 3D printing could be realized in the same manner as conventional polymers, which may be highly promising in applying these materials to actual devices.