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Issue 30, 2014
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Left or right cholesterics? A matter of helix handedness and curliness

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Abstract

Using an Onsager-like theory, we have investigated the relationship between the morphology of hard helical particles and the features (pitch and handedness) of the cholesteric phase that they form. We show that right-handed helices can assemble into right- (Image ID:c4cp01816h-t1.gif) and left-handed (Image ID:c4cp01816h-t2.gif) cholesterics, depending on their curliness, and that the cholesteric pitch is a non-monotonic function of the intrinsic pitch of particles. The theory leads to the definition of a hierarchy of pseudoscalars, which quantify the difference in the average excluded volume between pair configurations of helices having (Image ID:c4cp01816h-t3.gif) and (Image ID:c4cp01816h-t4.gif)-skewed axes. The predictions of the Onsager-like theory are supported by Monte Carlo simulations of the isotropic phase of hard helices, showing how the cholesteric organization, which develops on scales longer than hundreds of molecular sizes, is encoded in the short-range chiral correlations between the helical axes.

Graphical abstract: Left or right cholesterics? A matter of helix handedness and curliness

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Apr 2014, accepted on 15 Jun 2014 and first published on 16 Jun 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4CP01816H
Author version available: Download Author version (PDF)
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014,16, 16225-16232
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    Left or right cholesterics? A matter of helix handedness and curliness

    E. Frezza, A. Ferrarini, H. Bindu Kolli, A. Giacometti and G. Cinacchi, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014, 16, 16225
    DOI: 10.1039/C4CP01816H

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