External electric field reverses helical handedness of a supramolecular columnar stack†
Benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide (BTA) molecules self-assemble into one-dimensional columnar structures that possess a macrodipole moment along the stacking direction. Application of an external electric field on their liquid crystalline (LC) phase consisting of aligned stacks leads to a net polarization whose sign can be reversed by changing the direction of the field. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations predict that such an experiment must be associated with the reversal of helical handedness of the stacks as well. An experiment to demonstrate this prediction in a chiral supramolecular assembly is proposed.