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Issue 2, 2013
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Nanoconfinement of guest materials by helical nanofilament networks of bent-core mesogens

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Abstract

The helical nanofilament (HNF) liquid crystal phase is a complex, hierarchical self-assembly in which bent-core molecules cooled from the isotropic melt form dense periodic arrays of nanoscale filaments of twisted smectic layers, a structure driven by an inherent tendency of the layers to be locally saddle-splayed. Here we report the results of a study of mixtures of an HNF-forming bent-core liquid crystal with a variety of organic guest molecules, showing that the high temperature, isotropic phase is completely mixed but that upon cooling the filaments form and grow, expelling the guest material from their internal volume. The nanofilaments form a network which acts as a porous nanoconfinement medium of large internal area (∼100 m2 cm−3), with the guest material confined to nanoscale interstitial volumes between the filaments. Such helical nanofilament networks represent a robust platform for potential applications in chiral separations, asymmetric synthesis, and photonic metamaterials.

Graphical abstract: Nanoconfinement of guest materials by helical nanofilament networks of bent-core mesogens

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Apr 2012, accepted on 08 Oct 2012 and first published on 25 Oct 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM25997D
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 462-471
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    Nanoconfinement of guest materials by helical nanofilament networks of bent-core mesogens

    D. Chen, C. Zhu, H. Wang, J. E. Maclennan, M. A. Glaser, E. Korblova, D. M. Walba, J. A. Rego, E. A. Soto-Bustamante and N. A. Clark, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 462
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SM25997D

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