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Liquid Crystals

Liquid crytals (LCs) are probably the most exciting state of matter. They attract scientists across disciplines such as chemistry, physics, materials science, and engineering—theorists and experimentalists alike. These days, you can buy quite affordable LCD TV sets around the corner, but that's just one of the many things liquid crystals can do. The selection of recent research articles presented below illustrates the broad interest in this area of soft condensed matter.

Recommended Reading

J. W. Goodby, P. J. Collings, T. Kato, C. Tschierske, H. Gleeson, P. Raynes (Eds)
Handbook of Liquid Crystals
2nd edition, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2014.

Find all articles on liquid crystals in Wiley Online Library...

See the International Liquid Crystal Society's website.

Recent Articles

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Electro-optical Memory of a Nanoengineered Amorphous Blue-Phase-III Polymer Scaffold

Electro‐optical Memory of a Nanoengineered Amorphous Blue‐Phase‐III Polymer Scaffold

An electro-optical (EO) memory device is presented, which is based on a 3D nanostructured polymer scaffold of the amorphous blue phase III (BPIII) of cholesteric liquid crystals (LCs), which can impart optical isotropy, optical activity, and sub-millisecond EO response of BPIII to conventional nematic LCs. This functional scaffold also enables the first experimental observation of the long debated structure of BPIII.

[Communication]
Sahil Sandesh Gandhi, Min Su Kim, Jeoung-Yeon Hwang, Liang-Chy Chien
Adv. Mater., August 24, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201603226. Read article

Helical Polyacetylene-Based Switchable Chiral Columnar Phases: Frustrated Chain Packing and Two-Way Shape Actuator

Helical Polyacetylene‐Based Switchable Chiral Columnar Phases: Frustrated Chain Packing and Two‐Way Shape Actuator

Let's twist to activate frustration: A four-chain superlattice Φh3D-SL is proposed in a helical polyphenylacetylene derivative as a new mode of frustration, where the frustrated “lone” chain could switch its chirality opposite to that of the neighbors. Thermally reversible two-way shape actuation is achieved by the conformational isomerization during Φh3D-SL to Φh transition.

[Communication]
Jun Wang, Xiao-Qing Liu, Xiang-Kui Ren, Ben Zhang, Shuang Yang, Yu Cao, Feng Liu, Bernard Lotz, Er-Qiang Chen
Chem. Asian J., August 17, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/asia.201600879. Read article

Electric-Field-Controlled Alignment of Rod-Shaped Fluorescent Nanocrystals in Smectic Liquid Crystal Defect Arrays

Electric‐Field‐Controlled Alignment of Rod‐Shaped Fluorescent Nanocrystals in Smectic Liquid Crystal Defect Arrays

Alignment of rod-shaped semiconductor nanocrystals can be achieved via interaction with a smectic-A liquid crystal that self-assembles into micro-arrays containing linear topological defects and responds to applied electric fields. Nanoparticles align parallel to the molecular director and follow its response to the field, but align parallel to the defects or along the field inside the nanosized defect cores.

[Full Paper]
Iryna Gryn, Emmanuelle Lacaze, Luigi Carbone, Michele Giocondo, Bruno Zappone
Adv. Funct. Mater., August 16, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201602729. Read article

Induction of an Infinite Periodic Minimal Surface by Endowing An Amphiphilic Zwitterion with Halogen-Bond Ability

Induction of an Infinite Periodic Minimal Surface by Endowing An Amphiphilic Zwitterion with Halogen‐Bond Ability

Periodic minimal interface: Attachment of iodine atoms onto the headgroup of an amphiphilic zwitterion leads to the formation of a bicontinuous cubic liquid-crystalline assembly with a primitive-type infinite periodic minimal surface. Halogen bonding between the iodine atoms and the anions plays an important role in controlling the interface curvature of the assembly.

[Communication]
Takahiro Ichikawa, Akiyoshi Okafuji, Takashi Kato, Hiroyuki Ohno
ChemistryOpen, August 02, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/open.201600054. Read article

Morphology Tuning of Electrospun Liquid Crystal/Polymer Fibers

Morphology Tuning of Electrospun Liquid Crystal/Polymer Fibers

You spin me round: The morphologies of liquid crystal/polymer composites can be tuned from capsules through a beads-on-a-string structure to uniform fibers by varying the working parameters during the electrospinning process. In all three cases, the polymer forms a sheath around the liquid-crystal core.

[Article]
Junren Wang, Antal Jákli, John L. West
ChemPhysChem, August 02, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201600430. Read article

Photoinduced Electron Transfer in a Zinc Phthalocyanine–Fullerene Conjugate Connected by a Long Flexible Spacer

Photoinduced Electron Transfer in a Zinc Phthalocyanine–Fullerene Conjugate Connected by a Long Flexible Spacer

Push and pull: The liquid-crystalline dyad ZnPc−C60 consists of hexadodecyl-substituted zinc(phthalocyanine) covalently linked through a flexible spacer to a fullerene. Its intriguing spectroscopic and electrochemical features have been investigated regarding electron transfer from the photoexcited, electron-donating ZnPc moiety to the electron-accepting C60 unit. The lifetime fo the charge-separated state was determined to be 2.2 ns (kCR=4.5×108 s−1) .

[Full Paper]
Marcus Lederer, Mine Ince, M. Victoria Martinez-Diaz, Tomas Torres, Dirk M. Guldi
ChemPlusChem, July 12, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/cplu.201600197. Read article

Seeing Molecular Configuration in Twisted Crystal Form

Seeing Molecular Configuration in Twisted Crystal Form

[Review]
Bart Kahr, Alexander G. Shtukenberg
Isr. J. Chem., July 06, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/ijch.201600002. Read article

Polar Liquid Crystals Derived from Sulfonium Zwitterions of the [closo-1-CB11H12]– Anion

Polar Liquid Crystals Derived from Sulfonium Zwitterions of the [closo-1-CB11H12]– Anion

Zwitterionic derivatives of the [closo-1-CB11H12] anion form liquid-crystalline phases and improve the dielectric properties of nematic liquid-crystal materials.

[Full Paper]
Jacek Pecyna, Remigiusz Żurawiński, Piotr Kaszyński, Damian Pociecha, Piotr Zagórski, Serhii Pakhomov
Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., April 27, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/ejic.201600240. Read article.

Discogens Possessing Aryl Side Groups Synthesized by Suzuki Coupling of Triphenylene Triflates and Their Self-Organization Behavior

Discogens Possessing Aryl Side Groups Synthesized by Suzuki Coupling of Triphenylene Triflates and Their Self-Organization Behavior

Versatile Suzuki cross-coupling reactions between arylboronic acids and triphenylenyl triflates generate a rich diversity of attractive functional discogens.

[Full Paper]
Ke-Qing Zhao, Yue Gao, Wen-Hao Yu, Ping Hu, Bi-Qin Wang, Benoît Heinrich, Bertrand Donnio
Eur. J. Org. Chem., April 13, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/ejoc.201600270. Read article.

Blue and Green Phosphorescent Liquid-Crystalline Iridium Complexes with High Hole Mobility

Blue and Green Phosphorescent Liquid-Crystalline Iridium Complexes with High Hole Mobility

A simple modular design was used to impart liquid-crystalline properties to iridium complexes without modification of their photophysical properties. Annealed films of the liquid-crystalline complexes display hole mobilities up to three orders of magnitude higher than parent iridium complex without mesogenic groups and are the highest values reported to date for iridium complexes (see figure).

[Communication]
Yafei Wang, Christopher P. Cabry, ManJun Xiao, Louise Male, Stephen J. Cowling, Duncan W. Bruce, Junwei Shi, Weiguo Zhu, Etienne Baranoff
Chem. Eur. J., December 22, 2015, DOI: 10.1002/chem.201504669. Read article.

Chemical Programming of the Domain of Existence of Liquid Crystals

Chemical Programming of the Domain of Existence of Liquid Crystals

Changing states: The cohesive free energy density concept (CFED) is applied to thermotropic cyanobiphenyl-based liquid crystals to establish predictive quantitative correlations between each antagonist segments of the amphiphilic molecules (flexible alkyl tail/rigid aromatic core) and their transition temperatures (solid→liquid crystalline/liquid crystalline→ isotropic liquid; see figure).

[Full Paper]
Thibault Dutronc, Emmanuel Terazzi, Laure Guénée, Kerry-Lee Buchwalder, Sébastien Floquet, Claude Piguet
Chem. Eur. J., December 14, 2015, DOI: 10.1002/chem.201503420. Read article.

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