According to their phase diagram, polyalkyl glycol ether dissolved in ternary solutions (water, alcane, and cyclohexane) lead to the formation of either liquid crystal phases or microemulsion phases. By photosensitization of the ternary system with laser dyes and choosing the adequate concentration and temperature conditions of these lyotropic systems, it is possible to photoinduce the phase transitions from the microemulsion phase to the liquid crystal phase (and vice versa). The phototransformation conditions were chosen in such a way that the system is in thermal equilibrium during the entire phase transition. The method of photo small angle x-ray scattering has been applied to investigate the mechanism of photoinduced phase transition. Spectroscopically, the mechanism of photoinduced phase transition has been characterized by optical absorption and emission techniques.

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