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Self-assembled liquid-crystalline gels designed from the bottom up

Kempe, Michael D. and Scruggs, Neal R. and Verduzco, Rafael and Lal, Jyotsana and Kornfield, Julia A. (2004) Self-assembled liquid-crystalline gels designed from the bottom up. Nature Materials, 3 (3). pp. 177-182. ISSN 1476-1122. doi:10.1038/nmat1074.

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Liquid crystals are often combined with polymers to influence the liquid crystals' orientation and mechanical properties, but at the expense of reorientation speed or uniformity of alignment. We introduce a new method to create self-assembled nematic liquid-crystal gels using an ABA triblock copolymer with a side-group liquid-crystalline midblock and liquid-crystal-phobic endblocks. In contrast to in situ polymerized networks, these physical gels are homogeneous systems with a solubilized polymer network giving them exceptional optical uniformity and well-defined crosslink density. Furthermore, the unusually high-molecular-weight polymers used allow gels to form at lower concentrations than previously accessible. This enables these gels to be aligned by surface anchoring, shear, or magnetic fields. The high content of small-molecule liquid crystal (≥95%) allows access to a regime of fast reorientation dynamics.

Item Type:Article
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Kornfield, Julia A.0000-0001-6746-8634
Additional Information:© 2004 Nature Publishing Group. Received 9 October 2003; Accepted 8 January 2004; Published online 15 February 2004. The authors acknowledge financial support from the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research Liquid Crystal Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (LC-MURI) (f4962-97-1-0014), the ARCS Foundation, the United States National Science Foundation Department of Materials Research (DMR-0216491), and the United States National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. We would like to thank Steven Smith of Proctor and Gamble for providing us with 1,2-polybutadiene samples.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)f4962-97-1-0014
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150414-131116182
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Official Citation:Kempe, M. D., Scruggs, N. R., Verduzco, R., Lal, J., & Kornfield, J. A. (2004). Self-assembled liquid-crystalline gels designed from the bottom up. [10.1038/nmat1074]. Nat Mater, 3(3), 177-182.
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ID Code:56638
Deposited On:14 Apr 2015 20:37
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:02

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