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Home > News > Polarized light bends polymer film

September 12th, 2003

Polarized light bends polymer film

Three scientists in Japan have discovered that polymer films containing liquid crystals can be bent along any axis simply by illuminating them with linearly polarized light. The trio from Tokyo Institute of Technology says this characteristic means that lasers could power micromachines instead of batteries. “This striking photomechanical effect results from a photoselective volume contraction,” say Tomiki Ikeda and colleagues. “It may be useful in the development of high-speed actuators for micro-scale or nano-scale applications, for example in micro-robots in medicine or optical microtweezers.”


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