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Complex multicolor tilings and critical phenomena in tetraphilic liquid crystals

DOI: 10.1126/science.1193052 DOI Help
PMID: 21393540 PMID Help

Authors: Xiangbing Zeng (University of Sheffield) , Robert Kieffer (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg) , Benjamin Glettner (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg) , Constance Nurnberger (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg) , Feng Liu (University of Sheffield) , Karsten Pelz (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg) , Marko Prehm (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg) , Ute Baumeister (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg) , Harald Hahn (Technische Universität Chemnitz) , Heinrich Lang (Technische Universität Chemnitz) , Gillian Gehring (University of Sheffield) , Christa Weber (University of Sheffield) , Jamie Hobbs (University of Sheffield) , Carsten Tschierske (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg) , Goran Ungar (University of Sheffield)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Science , VOL 331 , PAGES 1302-1306

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2011

Abstract: T-shaped molecules with a rod-like aromatic core and a flexible side chain form liquid crystal honeycombs with aromatic cell walls and a cell interior filled with the side chains. Here, we show how the addition of a second chain, incompatible with the first (X-shaped molecules), can form honeycombs with highly complex tiling patterns, with cells of up to five different compositions ("colors") and polygonal shapes. The complexity is caused by the inability of the side chains to separate cleanly because of geometric frustration. Furthermore, a thermoreversible transition was observed between a multicolor (phase-separated) and a single-color (mixed) honeycomb phase. This is analogous to the Curie transition in simple and frustrated ferro- and antiferromagnets; here spin flips are replaced by 180° reorientations of the molecules.

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Materials, Physics

Instruments: I16-Materials and Magnetism , I22-Small angle scattering & Diffraction

Other Facilities: BM28 at ESRF; D16 at Institut Laue-Langevin

Added On: 17/03/2011 14:19

Discipline Tags:

Physics Physical Chemistry Chemistry Magnetism Materials Science

Technical Tags:

Scattering Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (WAXS) Grazing Incidence Small Angle Scattering (GISAXS)