Issue 20, 2019

Interface structures in ionic liquid crystals


Ionic liquid crystals (ILCs) are anisotropic mesogenic molecules which additionally carry charges. This combination gives rise to a complex interplay of the underlying (anisotropic) contributions to the pair interactions. It promises interesting and distinctive structural and orientational properties to arise in systems of ILCs, combining properties of liquid crystals and ionic liquids. While previous theoretical studies have focused on the phase behavior of ILCs and the structure of the respective bulk phases, in the present study we provide new results, obtained within density functional theory, concerning (planar) free interfaces between an isotropic liquid L and two types of smectic-A phases (SA or SAW). We discuss the structural and orientational properties of these interfaces in terms of the packing fraction profile η(r) and the orientational order parameter profile S2(r) concerning the tilt angle α between the (bulk) smectic layer normal and the interface normal. The asymptotic decay of η(r) and of S2(r) towards their values in the isotropic bulk is discussed, too.

Graphical abstract: Interface structures in ionic liquid crystals

Article information

Article type
10 Jan 2019
29 Apr 2019
First published
30 Apr 2019
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Soft Matter, 2019,15, 4109-4126

Interface structures in ionic liquid crystals

H. Bartsch, M. Bier and S. Dietrich, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 4109 DOI: 10.1039/C9SM00062C

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