Please tell me he’s not about to write “SWAG.”

University of Helsinki researchers have manufactured photochemically active polymers which can be dissolved in water or certain alcohols created by doctoral student Szymon Wiktorowicz. Read the article entitled, “New Chemistry: Drawing and Writing in Liquid with Light” here!

Szymon Wiktorowicz (try saying that five times fast) created a polymer chain including  “azo compounds”, which can be switched from a “trans” conformation to a “cis” conformation using light. As the two conformations are different in solubility, a ray of light can “draw” in an ethanol-based dispersion of the polymer.

From what I can gather, then, in layman’s terms: this polymer chain contains special compounds. Using light to change the solubility of these compounds switches the entire polymer chain, allowing a ray of light to “draw” in a liquid where this polymer is dispersed.

Light-sensitive polymers are nothing new to chemists. Light has been used for drawing on a solid surface, such as a TV screen or an LCD monitor, but drawing in liquid has so far been impossible

This discovery is important especially for the development of new materials for optics and electronics.

Me? I’m just interested in making drawings. In liquid. How cool would that be?

But wait, we can do that already… in coffee!

Liquids are pretty cool.


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