For many applications, it is imperative that changes in polymer surface topography, especially periodic patterns, can be triggered on command by a well-defined remote signal. In this contribution, we report a light-induced cascade of changes in wrinkling wavelengths on thin polymer layers supported by an elastomeric substrate under tensile stress. Through the applied supramolecular design, the effect of varying the ratio of light-active and light-passive components can be easily assessed, and it is shown that both the cascade type as well as the rate of the progress of the dynamic light-induced changes can be tuned by this ratio as well as by the light intensity. Furthermore, for the reported phenomena to occur, nominally only every 20th polymer repeat unit needs to be occupied by a chromophore, which makes the conversion of the sub-nanometer photoisomerization reaction into 10 μm scale changes of periodic surface patterns extremely efficient.
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