Dutch-sponsored researcher Ioan Paraschiv has stabilised new columnar discotic liquid crystals by making use of hydrogen bonds.
This stabilisation approach yielded well-ordered, column-shaped aggregates that can transport charges. Liquid crystals are materials that combine the properties of a liquid with those of crystalline solids. They show a middle phase, known as mesophase or liquid crystalline phase, in which the material has unique characteristics that can be used in liquid crystal display (LCD) screens and solar cells.
One use of columnar discotic liquid crystals is charge transport in photovoltaic solar cells, where a high degree of order within the mesophase is required.
Ioan Paraschiv investigated whether it is possible to stabilise columnar discotic liquid crystals using hydrogen bonds. For this, he prepared columnar discotic liquid crystals based on triphenylene core. He stabilised the ordering in the mesophase by realising a synergy between various bonding interactions. The mesophases of the newly-formed columnar discotic liquid crystals were found to be highly stable. Moreover, the material was still easy to process, due to its high solubility in organic solvents.
This combination of stability and ease of processing is particularly important for the use of these materials in different applications.
Ioan Paraschiv's research was funded by NWO.
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