Liquid crystalline block copolymers as adaptive agents for compatibility between CdSe/ZnS quantum dots and low-molecular-weight liquid crystals†
Fluorescent hybrid systems based on quantum dots (QDs) and liquid crystals (LCs) are promising materials for a high number of applications in photonics and display technology. However, it is a big challenge to achieve compatibility between inorganic QDs and organic LCs. In this work, we employ an ABA triblock copolymer with a side-chain LC central block and outer poly(4-vinylpyridine) blocks capable of complexing QDs. This approach allows the preparation of polymer–inorganic nanocomposites forming a nematic LC phase and containing a large amount of non-aggregated QDs (10 wt%). In addition, the resulting composites can be dissolved in a cholesteric LC mixture to obtain an LC system with uniformly distributed QDs where the triblock copolymer acts as a highly efficient compatibilizer. This new approach paves the way for constructing a broad range of hybrid functional materials for various applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Photonics