Optical Materials (OM)
Dual responsiveness of microgels
Dual responsiveness of microgels induced by single light stimulus
M. Bekir; J. Jelken; S.-H. Jung; A. Pich; C. Pacholski; A. Kopyshev; S. Santer
We report on the multiple response of microgels triggered by a single optical stimulus. Under irradiation, the volume of the microgels is reversibly switched by more than 20 times. The irradiation initiates two different processes: photo-isomerization of the photo-sensitive surfactant, which forms a complex with the anionic microgel, rendering it photo-responsive; and local heating due to a thermo-plasmonic effect within the structured gold layer on which the microgel is deposited. The photo-responsivity is related to the reversible accommodation/release of the photo-sensitive surfactant depending on its photo-isomerization state, while the thermo-sensitivity is intrinsically built in. We show that under exposure to green light, the thermo-plasmonic effect generates a local hot spot in the gold layer, resulting in the shrinkage of the microgel. This process competes with the simultaneous photo-induced swelling. Depending on the position of the laser spot, the spatiotemporal control of reversible particle shrinking/swelling with a predefined extent on a per-second base can be implemented.
Journal Article